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Club News

Simon Grayson Looking To Cement Top Half Finish

28 April 2016

Club News

Simon Grayson Looking To Cement Top Half Finish

28 April 2016

Manager Simon Grayson is hoping his side can finish with six points from their remaining games and complete a finish close to the top ten.

The Lilywhites boss spoke ahead of his side’s final away game of the season, as he takes on Brian McDermott and his Reading side at the Madejski Stadium on Saturday.

And like a number of the former Premier League clubs, the gaffer feels that the opponents will be ending the season earlier than they would have planned at the start of the season.

“I think Reading will fall into the category of a few other teams, who will look back on this season and will be slightly disappointed that they have underachieved given the players that they have got,” he said.

“They have got some talented players and have spent some money and I think they would have thought they would have been a little bit higher up the table, trying to get into the Play-Offs. But we have said for many weeks that no one has any divine right to be anywhere in the division.

“You have to earn that right and do whatever is required. Brian, who I know really well, has gone in there mid-way through the season, knows a lot about that football club and will know this is a tough game for them and for us.

“We want to try and get a couple more wins to really cement where we finish in the division. To do that we know we are going to have to be at it, which we have been over the last few weeks to try and get us those points.”

Having based their early and mid-season form on clean sheets, the team are looking to return to shut outs in Berkshire and the PNE boss admitted he would be happy with a couple of 1-0 wins to end the campaign.

“People used to claim that we were boring and that we just kept clean sheets and won 1-0,” he continued. “The last few weeks we have probably played a bit more open than we did the first few weeks of the season, because we were looking at different formulas, but we knew as well that we were secure in the division.

“We did what had to do in the first part of the season and have done things slightly differently in the last few weeks, but we will happily go back to getting a 1-0 in the last two games!”

In the opposition dugout, Brian McDermott is someone Simon knows very well and says that it will be a big summer for his opposite number, in terms of moulding a side his own way.

“Brian hasn’t changed things too much; he hasn’t really changed the personnel and he can’t be judged until the end of next season when he’s had a summer and year to work with his team.

“It is a big football club who are striving for the Premier League and if we finish above them, then it again shows what we have done, finishing above another Championship and former Premier League team, which is a big feather in our cap.

“I know Brian well and met him a few times when I was living in Leeds. He’s a good football guy and was treated harshly at Leeds. He has gone back to Reading, having been at Arsenal, so he has got good contacts, is a good football person,” he added.

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