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Simon Grayson: “All The Ingredients Are There”

22 January 2015

Manager Simon Grayson and the squad are thoroughly excited at the prospect of the FA Cup fourth round tie with Sheffield United this weekend.

The PNE boss spoke ahead of the Blades’ second visit to Deepdale this season and admitted that the cup has a special edge to it.

“It’s a fantastic competition,” said the Lilywhites’ gaffer. “We did really well in the last round against a Championship club and we are now playing against a team we know very well in our own division.

“We are in for a tough game, but we want a place in the next round.

“The last round was a really strong team performance, with and without the ball and we are going to have to do that again against a team like Sheffield United.

“We know what they are about; they put in a fantastic performance against Tottenham and they will play no differently against us. They will get men behind the ball, as they did a couple of weeks ago against us at home, and they will try and hit us on the counter-attack.

“We know what to expect from them, but we’ll be doing our utmost to get through to the next round. It is a fantastic competition and we want to win matches and this could set us up with a massive lift going into the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy tie.”

The visitors come to Deepdale for a tie that is the middle of a sandwich created by the two legs of their Capital One Cup semi-final against Spurs.

Only a second half penalty from Andros Townsend split the two sides at White Hart Lane on Wednesday night and despite their efforts against the Premier League big boys, Simon doesn’t expect it to affect their game plan at Deepdale.

“Nigel will do whatever he needs to do with his team in terms of recover sessions and preparation and time will tell on Saturday what impact the games this week have had,” he continued.

“No matter what team he picks they will use the same game-plan they have used in the past 18 or so months since he has been there.

“They deserve huge respect for what they have done in the past year in the cup competitions and they are right up there in the league as well. They are a great advert for League One teams that they have taken so many scalps, but we have to concentrate on what we can do.

“We want to be bright, positive and full of belief that we can go and get a result and get through and attack the next result after that.”

The two sides only met a fortnight ago, with Jamal Campbell-Ryce and Marc McNulty scoring in a 2-1 win for the red and white half of the steel city, Josh Brownhill scoring late for PNE direct from a free kick, but the manager is not expecting that to affect this fixture.

“I know Nigel well enough and he knows me, so we both know how each other’s team are going to play.

“Personnel could change for both teams from the league game, but the approach won’t be any different. It will be a good cup tie – Yorkshire versus Lancashire – and it will be a game that both will want settled on the day; neither side will want a replay.

“I am excited by the game, because what it can lead to – the fifth round draw. All the ingredients are there for a proper old-fashioned FA Cup tie with two teams going head to head and the players are really looking forward to it,” he added.

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