Preston North End boss Simon Grayson thinks this weekend’s pre-season friendly against Liverpool will help with the development and organisation of his squad.
The Lilywhites will host Brendan Rodgers’ side at Deepdale on Saturday afternoon, kick-off 3pm, having beaten non-league Chorley 3-2 earlier this week.
Speaking at his pre-match press conference at the Club’s Springfields training ground, Grayson admitted he expects the Reds to be tough opponents but is positive his players will learn a lot from the experience.
“It is going to be a big test for us, as it was last year when we played them, obviously we are really thankful to Brendan coming back and bringing his team over at the weekend,” he said.
“It shows how they enjoyed their game last year in terms of the crowd, the pitch and how well we played against them as well that they were on the phone to try and come back and it’s great testament to our football club that we are managing to get Liverpool again.
He added: “It’s a good test for the players; it will be one of those games similar to last year where we probably won’t have too much possession of the ball but it’s going to be good for our shape, organisation and development of all the players.”
Grayson was absent from his side’s opening friendly against Chorley, leaving assistant manager Glynn Snodin and first team coach John Dreyer in charge.
The North End boss was recovering from an operation on his knee but was receiving updates from his colleagues as the contest unfolded.
He said: “Snods rang me at half-time on Tuesday when we were 2-1 down and he wasn’t too happy and I said ‘it’s the first game so don’t be too harsh on them’ but obviously they’ve come back and done well which is pleasing.
“Look, in pre-season games everybody is looking for fantastic performances, fantastic results but it is all about the fitness work and building towards that first game of the new season.”
Unlike many clubs, Preston have not taken their pre-season preparations abroad this summer with Grayson, his backroom staff and the players instead remaining in Lancashire.
Speaking of that decision, the Lilywhites’ manager said: “Look, everybody is different, people have gone abroad, some people choose to stay at home, we’ve chosen to stay at home, as we did last year, and get plenty of work done.
“We know the surroundings of where we are, so we’re pleased with how everything is going so far and we’re keen to build on what we have done.”