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Club News

Simon Grayson: ‘It’s Going To Be A Great Atmosphere’

5 February 2015

Manager Simon Grayson spoke ahead of the visit of Steven Pressley’s Coventry City to Deepdale and was looking forward to a significant home crowd.

The Lilywhites could be set to play in front of their largest league crowd of the season when Sky Blues roll into PR1 and that adds a significant boost to the team and the manager.

“If you look our record we have only lost one league game at home at Deepdale in over a year, but we have drawn too many matches and that has cost us a number of points, most notably in the last two home games against Yeovil and Leyton Orient,” said the gaffer.

“However, it is going to be a great atmosphere on Saturday. We are looking at a big crowd, which will give a massive incentive to the players and we have to use Tuesday night’s performance and result as a big boost to go and play.

“We fully respect Coventry, what they can do and what they can hurt you with, but they will be aware of what is in our locker, what is coming back and what we can do as a team.

“They have been a team that lost two great players last season, but still have match winners. They have been involved in the loan market over the last month or so and we know what they can do.

“We want to start Saturday with a big performance and re-gather our confidence, getting back to winning ways in the league.”

North End go into the game having booked an FA Cup fifth round tie at home to Manchester United and the 45-year-old thinks this will also provide an added incentive for a big performance.

“It is human nature that players will be thinking that if they do well in the next two games, they will have a chance to play against Manchester United,” he continued.

“Those who played on Tuesday night have a great chance to keep the shirt, because of the results we have had and they will be doing everything in their power to stay in that shirt.

“It is a massive tie for us, in terms of lifting the profile of the Club and of the players as well. They want to be testing themselves against the best players in the world.

“They have to focus on Coventry and Chesterfield first and if players don’t perform in the next two games they won’t play against Manchester United.”

There was also the boost of the return to the squad of Joe Garner on Tuesday night and the manager admits having to put a leash on his top scorer, who would be playing every game if he could!

“Joe has done his work; he’s been back in training for two weeks now. He got 45 minutes in the reserves on Monday and he was ready for it.

“Daniel Sturridge at Liverpool has been in a similar boat and has been coming off the bench and used sparingly until he is fully fit and that’s how it will be with Joe until I feel he is ready.

“He is making progress and it was a huge boost to have him back, both for the player himself, but the supporters and his team-mates, that saw him part of it on Tuesday.

“We didn’t rush him back; we did everything we needed to, to get him back and we will be cautious in the way we approach his re-introduction,” he added.

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