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Club News

Simon Grayson Wants Focus

14 December 2015

Back-to-back wins and one defeat in ten for the Lilywhites, but they face another stern test in Gary Rowett’s Birmingham City on Tuesday night.

Manager Simon Grayson spoke ahead of the visit of the Blues and said that his team need to keep rising their game in order to keep the good run of form going that they have created.

 

 

“We want to try and build on the wins and add more victories,” said the North End gaffer. “We have a really tough game on Tuesday night against Birmingham, but if we can get a win it will set us up for the Christmas period very nicely.

 

“In this division you have to keep focused, not get carried away with yourself; make sure you learn from every game you are involved in, but take the confidence and belief we have earned in the last few games into the next ones.

 

“It has been a fantastic effort from the players. When you look back to Saturday it was a game where from start to finish all departments played well and on another day it could have been three or four against a strong Reading team.”

 

It was an 11th league clean sheet on the season at Deepdale on Saturday – only Middlesbrough have as many in all four English divisions.

 

And it is not 43 in the last 86 games, something the manager admits the team are very proud of: “It’s a big thing for us,” he continued.

 

“To have a one in two ratio of clean sheets at any level is tough to get, but full credit to the whole team – let’s hope it continues and by Tuesday night it is 44 in 87!”

 

The visitors have started the season well and sit just two points off a Play-Off place, looking to mount a promotion challenge in 2016 and the PNE chief is aware of what threats they carry.

 

“They have done ever so well with Gary this year. They have got into the top six and I think they are a better team away from home. They like their counter-attacking style of football and to go to Middlesbrough, keep a clean sheet and look a threat shows you what they have as a group.

 

“We are fully aware this is a tough game for us. Every game in the Sky Bet Championship is tough and you have to make sure that you are focused. Just because we have come off back-to-back wins, we can’t take it for granted that we only have to turn up. We have to make sure we compete even more, run further and harder against the opposition and still be as ruthless.

 

“I have plenty of respect for Birmingham and what Gary has done and what they can do on the day. They have people like Demarai Gray who is held in real high regard by people in the game and has a bright future as well as other experienced players, so they will be looking to try and get three points, but so will we.

 

“It is never easy when you lose two good players, like they have with Cotterill and Donaldson, but they have got other players and we will be reiterating to the players that we have to be better than we have been, if we are going to continue on the run that we are on,” he added.



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