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Club News

Time For Focus

16 January 2014

Manager Simon Grayson says his team must focus on their own games and not worry about their promotions rivals if they are to get the results required.

The PNE chief is looking for his side to keep up their 100 per cent home record in 2014 with the visit of high-scoring Coventry City to Deepdale.

Last time the two sides faced each other, they played out a highly-entertaining 4-4 draw at the Sixfields Stadium and Simon admits that was one of the rare occasions he has had to have a real ‘go’ at his players.

“That was one of the rare times I have had a go at my players this season! It was an unbelievable game; we were ahead, then down, then back up in injury time and ended up drawing 4-4,” he said.

“We didn’t play very well there on the day, Coventry were far better than us. I don’t need too many games like that during the course of a season! But we are going into the game in good spirits and we want to keep the record going we have started in 2014.

“Our team has changed a lot since then; we have brought different personnel in, we have used a different system, and we always felt at that point that we would get better as the season went on. We felt there was more to come from the team and we still feel we can get more from them.

“It is not about what we have achieved so far, it is about what we do in the next two or three months that really matters, but this is a tough game and we know we have to be at it to get the three points.

“We can’t lose focus on what we need to do, other teams are doing what they are doing, but we can’t afford to slip up. We have to do our business and if teams around us lose a game, then that puts us in a good place. We have to hang on in there; there are plenty of points to be won and lost for all the teams.”

Saturday’s opponents would be firmly ensconced in the top six had they not had ten points deducted for going into Administration and therefore the North End boss is well away of the threat they pose.

“Coventry are a highly entertaining team,” he continued. “There are always plenty of goals involved in their games. They have some threats and if they’d had the ten points that was taken from them, they’d be in the Play-Offs, so they are certainly a major threat.

“It’s a tough game for us. They’ve had a few injuries that have knocked them a little bit, but Wilson has done exceptionally well this year, as has Leon Clarke – but none of their issues are my problems, I have to deal with our team and getting them ready for the game.

“We wanted to get the home form sorted by winning matches and we have got points on the board in the last game and then we won the cup match.

“I’m sure the fans are looking forward to us being at home again, I am sure there will be a great atmosphere and we are ready to kick on now.”

And to try and achieve that aim, the manager has a few selection issues, but not the kind he is complaining about: “We have Scott Wiseman, Jack King, John Welsh and Bailey Wright all available and we have some tough decisions to make. 

“They are all available, they are all playing well and they all want to be in the team and there will be some disappointed players,” he added.

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