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Gaffer on Game, Garner, and Robinson

25 November 2014

Simon Grayson was in buoyant mood after his side recorded their place in the JPT Area semi-final by defeating Oldham on penalties, following a dramatic 2-2 finish.

The Lilywhites’ were a goal to the good through Scott Laird going into the break, but goals from Dominic Poleon and Danny Philliskirk saw Oldham go ahead, only for Tom Clarke to rescue the game for North End with a late goal seeing the game go to penalties.

Kevin Davies and Mike Jones both missed their penalties for their respected sides after the initial first five penalties meaning sudden death would decide who would progress.

So when Thorsten Stuckmann’s opposing goalkeeper Neil Etheridge missed his spot-kick, it was up to the big German to send PNE into the next round, and he did exactly that with a cool, calm, finish, meaning Preston came out on top in an epic shoot-out 10-9.

“It was two good teams having a go at each other - an entertaining end to end game,” said the boss on the thrilling finale.

“We dominated large parts of the first-half and got our goal, and we should have had a second.

“But they changed their system in the second half, with the three substitutions and they dominated the play 20 minutes after half-time but we re-grouped and got back into it.

“If you’d had said before the game that a German was going to to take the last penalty you’d have put money on them scoring because that’s just what German footballers do!”

Prior to the game, rumours had been circulating on the injury status of Joe Garner, and Callum Robinson being re-called from parent-club Aston Villa, and Grayson confirmed this to PNE Player after the game, and stated why the announcement was delayed.

“The rumours were circulating around this morning – we don’t know how people managed to know and it’s frustrating for us because we’re trying to bring players in and with this being out in the open, it may end up hindering who we can bring in.

“Joe’s had a scan and he’s suffered a tendon injury with his knee and he’s going to be out for three to four months, but there’s no time span on it because it’s such a freak injury.

“We accept that the loan player can go back, Callum’s been outstanding for us - He’s gutted but he’s an Aston Villa player and we’re grateful to Villa for allowing us to have him on loan.

“For the next 48 hours I’m going to be very busy; we’re working hard behind the scenes so we’ll just have to see where we go with it."

To hear more on the JPT penalty shoot-out win, the reaction to Garner’s injury, the re-call of Callum Robinson and why it’s going to be a busy few days for Grayson and co, watch the interview in full here.

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