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Club News

Simon Grayson Still Pushing For Top Two

27 March 2014

The North End boss still believes there will be some twists and turns before the promotion places are decided at the end of the season in Sky Bet League One.

Speaking ahead of the visit of Crawley Town to Deepdale the Lilywhites gaffer felt that there was still all to play for in the final seven league games.

“We want to keep the momentum going, keep being as professional as ever, doing the right things,” said Simon. “It can’t be easy for players sometimes, psychologically, if you know you are going to be in the Play-Offs, but from our point of view there is still plenty to play for and we can’t let things drift.

“We were off the standards we have set over the last few weeks and months in the first half on Tuesday night, but we picked it up in the second half.

“We are not giving up on the top two. You see results go against the teams at the top in midweek and we have said that this would be the case. 

“We dropped a few points and made it difficult for ourselves, but you can ask Rotherham or Orient and they will still be pushing to catch the top two because there are plenty of games to be played and points to be won and we’re not giving up on it.”

The visit of Crawley sees the North End boss come up against his own former manager, John Gregory having been in charge when Simon was at Aston Villa and he is expecting a very tough clash.

“At Crawley we played very well,” he continued. “It was John’s first game in charge and we totally dominated it in the first half, but in the second half they did well and in some parts it epitomises our season, conceding in the last minute.

“We know what they are about. They are playing catch up, have a lot of games to play, but John has got them going in the right direction.

“He’s a manager I respect hugely, because I played under him as well at Aston Villa, so I know what he is all about. He won’t have given up on the Play-Offs and if they win their games in hand it will be very close.”

The manager goes into the game not knowing yet whether Scott Wiseman will be available, but expects to have everyone else back fit and available for the clash with the Sussex side.

“Tom Clarke could have played the other night, but we felt there was no rush in pushing him back in, when we didn’t have to do. We have options at full back and have players who are adaptable and flexible.

“Alan Browne will be desperate to be involved again. Nothing fazes him and I have no problems including him in the plans and we will utilise him if we feel it is right,” he added.

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