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Simon Grayson Looking To Embrace Second Opportunity

6 May 2015

Manager Simon Grayson said that the squad have to be positive in their approach and grasp the second chance they have been given to gain promotion to the Championship.

Speaking ahead of the Sky Bet League One Play-Off semi-final first leg at the Proact Stadium the gaffer said that they must put the weekend behind them and remember how well they have done so far this season.

“We have been given a second opportunity,” he said. “We could be in a worse situation, like Derby County at the weekend, who lost and don’t have a second chance. 

“We knew that different situations could evolve and it didn’t go how we wanted it to on Sunday, but we still have an opportunity to get promoted.

“Sunday and Monday were a time for reflection on things, but we have to remember what we are and how well we have done this season. One defeat in 19 games; the first time in 30 games we have not scored a goal and we finished 30 points better off that the team in sixth place. The group know they didn’t do what they needed to at the weekend, but we will be positive in our approach and that’s what you have to be.

“You can’t affect what has gone in the past; but we can affect what happens on Thursday and Sunday, that’s for sure.”

The PNE chief believes that with history and attitude seemingly against his charges, that they will enter the double-header against Paul Cook’s Chesterfield as underdogs.

“We have to embrace it,” he continued. “People might be negative and cautious and that might make us the underdogs, but we will have a right go at it.

“Records are there to be broken; my glass is always half full and the players are determined to do something about it. We have two tough ties in the semis and there are no guarantees in football, but why can’t we win, go to Wembley and get promoted? It’s a fantastic way to get promoted and everyone has to believe we can do it.

“We have been so close all season and we have been one of the best teams in this division, so why can’t we go into the Play-Offs and get promoted that way?

“If anyone had said before the weekend who did they not want to play in the Play-Offs, given the run we’ve been on and the threats we’ve got in the team, I am sure all the other teams would have said us.”

Having won the Play-Offs twice as a manager the North End boss says there are no secrets, just playing to your potential.

“There aren’t any secrets to winning matches. You have to be organised, disciplined, take your chances and be ruthless in both boxes, no matter what division you are in.

“It is a two game scenario and we have to make sure that we are still in the tie when we come back to Deepdale.

“We have a lot of respect for Chesterfield and the season they have had, but it is how we approach the game and what we can do.

“If the players don’t want to be playing in these games then they shouldn’t be in football – these games can be the highlight of your career and there is a massive incentive at stake – to get promotion at one of the best grounds in the World.

“We are all looking forward to it; we will embrace it and be positive in everything we do and let’s hope it is our year.

“It will be a big occasion and they will say they have nothing to worry about. No-one expected them to be in this situation at the start of the season, but they will have one eye on what we can do,” he added.

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