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Simon Grayson Felt Game Should Have Been ‘Put To Bed’

14 December 2016

Manager Simon Grayson felt his side should have been out of sight by half-time after the thrilling draw at The City Ground.

Simon Makienok deservedly put the visitors ahead with virtually the last kick of the first half, only for a Thomas Lam shot to unfortunately ricochet off the post, onto the back of Chris Maxwell’s legs and into the net.

But the yellows were dominant in the opening half and had chances to be three or four up at the interval, something the gaffer felt was the decisive factor.

“It would have been a good game for the neutral to watch,” he told PNE PlayerHD after the game. “I thought in the first half we were very good. We knew if we could start the game brightly we could try and put them on the back foot and we did and it resulted in us having a lot of good opportunities and going in at 1-0 at half-time was deserved, if not a couple more goals.

“There were some missed opportunities, but some fantastic saves by their keeper as well starting with Callum Robinson after less than 90 seconds.

“We could have been out of site by half-time, but we knew there would be a reaction from them and they got the goal and we were under a bit of pressure, but even in that spell we had some decent opportunities.

“We will be satisfied that we got a point, as we would have been before the game, but we are also a little bit disappointed that we didn’t put the game to bed in the first half.”

Simon watched as his side came out of the blocks quickly, with his midfield three of Pearson, Browne and Johnson controlling the first half.

“The midfield three dominated them; they got on the ball and we looked a threat,” he continued. “Callum Robinson played just off Simon Makienok, with three at the back and we looked very solid as a group and we just couldn’t take those opportunities.

“You need to score when you have a real dominant period and that wasn’t the case. You expect them to come out and improve and they did.

“Maxi made some good saves and we cleared one off the line and overall it was a fair result, but we could have been out of sight by the break.”

The goal was well crafted, as the PNE chief explained, but he felt the loss of Ben Pearson with a foot injury early in the second half had an influence on the outcome.

“It was a great ball by DJ. We encourage the wing backs to push up into the box, because they are an outlet for you and Greg made the run and still spotted Simon and it was a nice finish.

“It was what we deserved because of the chances we had before that. The players are a little bit down, because they thought they deserved to win the game, but there were a lot of positives to come out of the game tonight.

“We had to bring on a different type of player in Prings and put Browny into a position that isn’t the one he is used to whereas Ben is, which affected us, but injuries are part and parcel of the game,” he added.

To watch the full interview with the manager and to see what Alan Browne had to say after the game click here to log into PNE PlayerHD now.

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