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Simon Grayson: “It Was Very Professional”

10 November 2014

North End boss Simon Grayson was full of praise for a ‘professional’ performance form his side as they advanced to the second round of the FA Cup at Westleigh Park.

A 3-0 win over Conference South side Havant & Waterlooville was earned as Callum Robinson scored a hat-trick to set up a tie with either Walsall or Shrewsbury Town in December.

Speaking to PNE Player the gaffer said: “It was very professional. It was a word we used before the game so many times and again at half-time we reminded the players it was a no win situation – if you win it everyone expects you to and if you don’t it is a massive upset and you can suffer the consequences.

“Our approach was really good; the early goal settled us down and from then on we looked in control. Havant had their moments but our players focused on what they needed to do and executed the game plan really well.”

The PNE chief made four changes to the side that lost at Swindon and they controlled the game from the outset in Hampshire: “The changes that we made didn’t weaken us; the lads that came in have played a lot of football this season,” continued the boss.

“We have the strength in depth, we felt that one or two needed a game and one or two needed a rest and that’s why we have the squad that we do. We took the game very seriously because we want a good cup run to go hand in hand with the league and we wanted to get back to winning ways.

“In games like this you have to keep the ball and work it well. You have to take the sting out of the game, win your second balls and do the ugly side of the game, but we felt that if we needed to up the tempo in the second half we could have done and all in all we did a job.”

He was full of praise for both the hat-trick hero and the fans as well: “It was only a couple of weeks ago [Callum Robinson] got his first league goal. He is a fantastic lad who really works hard, is down to earth and to get a hat-trick in the FA Cup is magical and he will remember tonight for the rest of his career and hopefully we can keep him with us for a lot longer.

“Kev was looking for another goal for his 150th in football so you could see why he wanted to take it, but if Kev was Callum’s age he would have wanted it as well and so Kev was very sympathetic and rightly so.

“The support was brilliant. We keep talking about them all the time and rightly so. They have gone home happy and I think they were making their own entertainment at times tonight, nut it is a two way thing that we are working together,” he added.

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