Preston North End manager Simon Grayson is hoping that final day defeat to Crewe Alexandra will help his players prepare mentality for the Play-Offs.
The Lilywhites – today in yellow, lost 2-1 to the Alex, a result which guaranteed the home side’s safety in Sky Bet League One.
And Grayson wants the result to have a positive impact on his troops.
Speaking to the press following the full-time whistle, the gaffer said: “Our aim was to win the football match and try and finish third, but credit to Crewe, their players won their individual battles against ours and we
ended up losing the match so that is where we fell short today, I’m disappointed in how we played.
“I’d like to think this result won’t have too much impact, it might even help sharpen one or two up mentality.
“We have always reacted well after defeats and sometimes when we have scored five, six and three, one or two lads might think it is a bit easier than it actually is.
“Today was a reminder of what we need to do.
“You look back over the last few months were we have been hard to beat, away from home we have gone out to win games and we were a bit too loose today with the shape of the team.
“It is something we will look into, but it is not something I am going to be downhearted about, frustrated yes, because we wanted to win the game, but we didn’t do that or play like we could do.
“We certainly won’t let that affect us because we are a good team, we have got some good players and I’m sure there will be a reaction come Saturday tea time.
“We wanted something from the game to keep the momentum going because we had to show a little bit of character at times and unfortunately for us, we didn’t win those individual battles that I mentioned earlier, to try and, first and foremost, stop them from playing, be hard to beat, but then when we did get the ball we gave it away a bit too cheaply.
“There are disappointing aspects of the game and there are not many games when we have not done the job properly.
“I think when you look at the players today; I think every one of them was probably just below the standards that they have set and sometimes they need to look at themselves and ask: ‘what can I do to be better’.
“But we have set high standards and that is why we have done as well as we have done this season and it is our job to give the players a few reminders on what we need to do better and that’s what we do, even when we have been winning games this season, we have always spoke to them and talked about what we need to do to be better.”
Saturday’s result means that North End finished the League One campaign in fifth position and will now face Rotherham United in the semi-final of the Play-Offs, the first leg being at Deepdale on Saturday 10th May, kick-off 5.15pm.
And the gaffer is looking forward to what will be a tough encounter.
“We always knew that it was going to go down to the last game and we could finish in any of them three positions, there is never a given right to where you finish,” added Simon.
“We know who we have got now and we have them at Deepdale before going away on the Thursday, so wherever you finish, you want to be positive.
“There is no given marker that where you finish guarantees success.
“They have been two good games against Rotherham, we drew 0-0 there and they equalised in the last minute against us at Deepdale for 3-3.
“It will be a tough game, we know what they are about, they are a team that is on the front foot, they play with a purpose, they have got a manger who is very passionate about what he does, so we know we have got to be a match for them.
“Certain individuals now have to show what they are capable of doing, we have played poorly and had a disappointing result today but we haven’t had too many of them this year.
“One or two players need to show a little bit more edge if they are going to stay in the team.
“There are one or two players in the team today who have not had much game time, Scott Wiseman did well to get 90 minutes and we were without Tom Clarke, and we will go again Monday morning and get ready for a good week’s training with a tough match next week.”