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Club News

Simon Grayson Unhappy With Opposition Tactics

5 April 2016

Manager Simon Grayson was not only disappointed with his side’s defeat to Fulham, but also the time-wasting tactics of the Cottagers.

“He got us back into it and once that equaliser went in it really only looked like one team was going to win it and that was us, but things didn’t drop for us and they stemmed the flow by feigning injuries,” he added.

“He came on at Bolton and contributed and tonight he showed he has got that in him. He is positive, he is very quick and direct and he has a hammer of a right foot when he puts it through the ball.

“Marnick has done well for us and it has only been down to the outstanding form of Calum Woods over the last few months that he hasn’t had much of a chance.

One of the enforced changes got PNE back into the game, however, and the manager felt this should have been the turning point, if his side had any luck.

“Tom’s injury early on knocked us and they Calum injured his calf and he has been exceptional in the last 12 to 15 games, but you have to deal with those situations.”

“The players who were on the pitch tried to do that, but at times you just need something that little bit different to get the result.

The loss of skipper Tom Clarke with a head injury and Calum Woods with a claf problem inside the first quarter of the game didn’t help either: “When you have a bench of Beckford, Robinson, Doyle and Johnson and you are chasing a game it is disappointing when you can only get one of them on to try and change the game.

“On another night things might have dropped for us in the six yard box or 18 yard box, but they didn’t and when the chance dropped to them after Anders had saved McCormack’s free kick onto the post it fell to the only player in the box, so we are disappointed that it wasn’t our night, but we can’t ask any more that the players gave tonight.”

“When you play a team who are struggling for points you don’t want to give them something to hang on to, but we did. It gave them that early goal and they tried then to soak things up and hit us on the counter attack.

“You are disappointed when you lose any game and there is a way of losing, but tonight was a game we didn’t deserve to lose,” continued Simon. “We didn’t get the breaks, we didn’t get the rub of the green, but we are proud of the players and how hard they worked and the character they showed to come from behind and other factors have contributed to us not getting anything tonight.

The visitors had gone in front through Ross McCormack’s early goal, but bounced back to equalise through a solo strike from substitute Marnick Vermijl and after that there only seemed likely to be one winner, however, another piece of skill from McCormack brought about a chance for Moussa Dembele to give Slavisa Jokanovic’s side a vital three points in their fight against relegation.

“He added the time on – we played nine minutes in the end in the second half - but they aren’t tactics you see from too many teams in the Championship and it just kept stopping us creating any momentum.”

“It was a difficult game for the referee,” said the gaffer. “By the letter of the law he has to stop the gamer when there’s a head injury.

The North End boss spoke to PNE PlayerHD after the 2-1 reversal at Deepdale and felt that the referee had been put in an awkward position by the Lilywhites’ opponents.

To watch the full interview and to see what man of the match Ben Pearson had to see, click here now to log in to PNE PlayerHD.

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