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Club News

'We Don't Do It The East Way'

1 March 2014

Manager Simon Grayson felt his side have played a lot better and not won the game this season.

However, he was delighted to end an emotional week with three points.

The North End boss spoke after his side triumphed 2-1 at Deepdale to open up a 17-point gap over seventh place and was honest in his assessment of the performance of his side, who made it seen points from nine in a week that drained everyone emotionally and physically.

“We have played a lot better than that and not won matches,” he said. “There were certain things we needed to better from the first half performance and after half-time the players had a real go at it.

“We don’t do things the easy way, do we?

“We were holding on in the last five minutes or so, when we should be killing the game off against ten men and these are lessons players have to learn from, but it is all about three points and that is all that matters.

“We should have capitalised on their error early on and really go after them, but we made a stupid decision trying to take a throw in too quickly and then Tom Clarke made one of the only errors he has made all season. It was a poor period after our goal, but they are a good footballing team.

“We didn’t talk to each other enough and get around them enough in the first half to make sure we weren’t getting overrun in midfield and we had some strong words at half-time and to be fair to the players they grasped what we said and we had some good opportunities in the second half.

“Our front two were a threat, but we still had to rely on Declan Rudd to make a fine save in injury time to give us the three points, but we’ve won it and that’s all that matters at this stage of the season.”

The gaffer and his staff went with an unchanged 18 from the side that drew 3-3 with Rotherham on Tuesday night, but he admitted a few had played through knocks and illness to complete the game and is delighted to have a rare free week to come.

“Craig Davies was a doubt overnight, because he had an illness,” continued the PNE boss. “He did really well to complete the 90 minutes, but I thought he was strong.

“We did contemplate changing the team around, but we felt we could go with the same team. You can’t use Tuesday night for the first half performance, because Rotherham were 4-0 up after 20 minutes and they played in the same game!

“It was a different type of opposition today, but we felt a little bit of continuity would help and we are pleased to now have a free week this week ahead of a tough game at Oldham next Saturday.”

And after an emotional and poignant week for everyone involved with Preston and Preston North End, Simon was delighted to book end the period since Sir Tom’s passing with a home win.

“I don’t think words can describe how proud I am as manager of this of this football club; with how everyone has conducted themselves.

“From the supporters to people like Peter Ridsdale and Ben Rhodes who have organised everything to perfection over the last two weeks – the service went so smoothly and everyone can be immensely proud of how they conducted themselves and it was great we could get a fitting result today for Sir Tom and hopefully we will get many more for him from now until the end of the season.

“It’s been tough for everybody, but a lot of accolades should go out to the people who are not normally recognised for their work behind the scenes,” he added.

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