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Club News

Simon Grayson On Another Game To ‘Look Forward To’

29 December 2016

Manager Simon Grayson is relishing the chance to face in-form Sheffield Wednesday at Deepdale to close out 2016.

The Lilywhites boss, who spent a short loan period with the Owls during his playing career, feels it is a great game to end the 12 months, as the fixture concludes at the final embers of the calendar year burn down.

“It is going to be another big game for us; one we are looking forward to,” he said of the visit of Carlos Carvalhal’s side. “They are a team that are in a good run for form. They had a fantastic result up at Newcastle on Boxing Day night and they look a very disciplined and organised team.

“They have had three clean sheets on the trot and are in the top six looking to progress beyond that.

“We had a tough game against them at Hillsborough, but we showed we are capable of putting on a decent performance, but made a couple of bad errors. It is a game we know can affect – we can hopefully bounce back from a disappointing result against Leeds; when we didn’t defend like we should have done as a group.

“We are going to be tested, because of the players they have, but we thrive in these big games, the big crowds and I am sure we will respond to the defeat on Boxing Day.”

The game over in the steel city at the beginning of December ended in controversial fashion and it distracted from the fact that North End should have come away from Hillsborough with a result.

“In the first half, when there wasn’t much in it, we had some chances – Callum Robinson hit the post, Aiden McGeady went close and in the second half we were the dominant term until the sendings-off,” continued the gaffer.

“Sheffield Wednesday will be wary of what we are capable of doing and whatever team and system we put out, we have to make sure we play our game. We work hard, stop the opposition from playing, be disciplined and be a threat going forward.

“If we can put all those ingredients into it, then we can hopefully replicate the same kind of performance and result we had against them at Deepdale early on this year, when we beat them 1-0.”

As mentioned, the New Year’s Eve visitors have been in good form this month, with Fenrnado Forestieri looking sharp since his return from his own ban, but the North End boss is not focusing on individuals.

“They are a very organised and disciplined side who have got threats throughout the team. Fletcher has played at the highest level; plus Reach, Wallace, Bannan and Kieran Lee, if he’s fit, who are all very good, talented players.

“We don’t pick out individuals to worry about; we highlight the strengths and weaknesses of every opposition and look at where we can hurt them,” he added.

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