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Simon Grayson On ‘Fantastic Game’

11 December 2014

The manager is looking forward to a top of the table clash this weekend – as third placed Milton Keynes Dons arrive in PR1.

The PNE boss spoke ahead of the visit of Karl Robinson’s men and was excited at the prospect of two good teams going head to head.

“It is a fantastic game,” he said. “Two good footballing teams, both at the top end of the division looking to maintain where they are and improve for the second half of the season.

“We are fully aware of MK Dons’ strengths and weaknesses. This year they have probably got the strongest squad they have had for a long time. Karl will be first to admit that is the case – with the players they have in on loan and some of the promising youngsters that have come through. So they are a good team and we know what we have to do.

“We will give them the respect that we would any team, but we need to focus on what we need to do to go and win the game.”

The visitors have come to the fore with some excellent additions to their squad over the summer and the gaffer believes they will be right in the mix come the end of the season.

“They are definitely contenders for automatic promotion,” he continued.

“They have the experienced players like Kay, Lewington and Martin; they have young players like Alli and Reeves and then they have the threats of the loan players Afobe and Grigg that they have brought in on loan.

“They have a good mixture; are a strong side and when you have a player like Afobe in your team, who can get goals out of nothing, then it gives them a good opportunity to win football matches.

“But they will be certainly aware of what we’ve been doing over the last few weeks and months and what we can do on the day too.”

The Lilywhites will be looking to return to Deepdale in the league for the first time since their only defeat at home n 2014 and the manager believes the reaction since that loss four weeks ago (with four straight wins in three competitions) has been a positive one.

“We’ve shown good character and spirit amongst the group [since the blip], but that is something that has never been in question.

“We see it from the players every day. They have a great togetherness and they are a disappointed as anybody when they lose a football match.

“If you look at two of the three games we lost on the bounce, we could quite easily have got something from them; there was only the Rochdale game where we didn’t deserve anything.

“We have bounced back well – are fighting on three fronts and hopefully it will prove to be a successful season,” he added.

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