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Simon Grayson: We Will Use This As Motivation

16 May 2014

Manager Simon Grayson believes that tonight's play-off defeat will be extra motivation for his side to achieve success next season.

The gaffer was speaking the 3-1 defeat at the New York Stadium which ended Preston's promotion hopes.

Speaking to the press following the encounter, the manager said: "No matter what you say in the dressing room at this moment in time, its going to go in one ear and out of the other, because they're obviously very down, they've given their all for the football club over 46 league games and on top of that in the two play-off games.

"It hurts you when you lose any football match, but when you lose in a semi-final, it hurts you even more, but there can only be two teams go through, and I'm sure Darren Ferguson is the same, and the Championship managers that lost out on the play-offs, it can be a real strong motivation to have in your locker next year.

"I experienced it as a player with Leeds but we bounced back the following year with automatic promotion and that will be our aim next year, because you can't be down too long as a manger, you've got to pick yourself up and pick your players up and we go again." He added. 

"We have the holidays and will come back rejuvenated and with the will and the desire to succeed again."  

Simon was full of praise for his players for the way that they have performed throughout the season and felt the result came down to fine margins in the end. 

"I asked my players, before they went out, I said to make sure they give everything, they leave everything on that pitch and they could at least come back, and, win lose or draw, we've earned some pride and they've done that tonight.

"Football is all about fine margins, and things haven't gone our way today.

"We've hit the post two or three times, the inside of the post and it's come back to the 'keeper or to them instead of one of our strikers, the keepers flapped it once just before half-time, so we gave everything. 

"We tried different formations to get back into the game, we started the game brightly, and obviously as you can imagine its a hugely disappointed dressing room because of what's happened.

"We did say that when you go into these games, moments of magic, mistakes, or a little bit of luck here and there will ultimately help you along your way and we didn't get many of those things tonight, but we've lost to a good team, they were strong, powerful, it was a fantastic atmosphere, from both sets of supporters.

 "I thought our supporters were absolutely magnificent tonight, even when we were 3-1 down, they were singing right the way through it and all the players can be really proud of what they've done this season in terms of from day one."

He continued: "Everything that I've asked them to do, training sessions, game situations, they've done everything and I've got a real disappointed group which is obviously understandable, but 90 per cent of that dressing room are under contract for next year and we will add to the squad and we will use this as a motivation for hopefully automatic promotion next year. 

"Like the players, I have no regrets, everything, every decision I have made, has been for the best for the football club, and the players are the same, sometimes you don't get what you deserve possibly. 

"But credit to Rotherham , they were never gonna lie down at Deepdale the other day, and we haven't done here tonight, I think you've seen two cracking games of football.

"Full credit to them, they go to Wembley and it will be a decent final against Orient but I thought we gave them a game, we've hit the post numerous times, they've had good opportunities but we certainly did not sit back and try to just soak things up and hit on the counter. 

"We've gone at them and we've got that early goal which I think we just needed to keep a little bit longer, I think it was eight or nine minutes, but I think it was a good advert for League One football, but football is all about fine margins, and we didn't quite get the breaks tonight."

The gaffer believes that he has a strong squad already in place for next season and with a few additions, the aim will be to secure automatic promotion and avoid the Play-Offs in the next campaign. 

"It happens in football, we will lick our wounds, we will be in tomorrow, the players will go and get their rest and they will come back a determined bunch to improve on it, because this football club is progressing, there is no doubt about that," stated the boss.

"In terms of where they were a few years ago to where we are now, in a short space of time, it's only going to go in one direction and it will keep going in one direction.

"We said that from day one, from when we brought all the new players in around Christmas time, that we've got a real good group, we will need to strengthen in different areas, but you have to do that every year.

"You have to keep improving your squad, and making changes to it, but there won't need to be many changes because we have got a real good group, and I'm really proud of what they've done this season in a short space of time."

"We've been planning like most clubs will be, for two scenarios, as I said we've got a fantastic group here, good quality, good work ethic, and we will add to it in the summer. 

"Whether it's players that have been on loan here previously or this year, or new ones, there is a nucleus, we've got good young players, Josh Brownhill, Alan Browne, they've learned from the experience over the last couple of games, as will the older ones as well. 

"We will add to the squad and make it better and try and use tonight and the Brentford situation from last year and they got automatic promotion as a motivation for us all."

The points tally earned by North End at the end of the season would have been enough to secure automatic promotion in last seasons League One campaign, but Simon believes this just shows how strong the league has been this year. 

"It's proved how good a division it has been this season, and how good the teams have been this season through the number of points that they've accumulated and had to get just to get into those Play-Off places, never mind automatic promotion spots as well. 

"When you only lose seven games like we did all season, and have not gone up, you can possibly think of yourself as a little bit unlucky at times."

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