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Simon Grayson On ‘Cracking’ Derby Win

10 December 2016

Simon Grayson thoroughly enjoying a pulsating derby day victory over Blackburn Rovers at Deepdale in front of the live TV cameras.

The Lilywhites defeated their near rivals in PR1 for the first time since 1978 as Callum Robinson scored the odd goal in five to give the home side a 3-2 triumph over Owen Coyle’s men.

Two Daniel Johnson goals, including PNE’s first penalty since April, were cancelled out by a brace from visiting striker Danny Graham, but Johnson’s fellow former Villain Robinson was the hero, firing home with ten minutes to go to give home fans the bragging rights and his team the three points.

After the game the gaffer spoke to PNE PlayerHD and felt it was a great game for the fans and the watching millions on Sky.

“It was a cracking game,” he told the club’s online TV channel. “It had everything – goals, goalmouth incidents, blocks, challenges and that’s what you want from a derby match.

“Credit to Blackburn, they gave it as good a go as we did, and I am delighted for our supporters and the players that we have come out on top and got the three points.

“We were a little bit disappointed with the way we started at home against Burton, so we said to the players that we had to make sure we got on the front foot, with the ball, without the ball, passed it properly and be confident. We wanted them to run forward with it when we were in possession and without possession stop them from playing and we did.

“We started well, got the goal, were disappointed that we conceded a penalty, but showed plenty of character to get the next one.

“We kept having to come back from them equalising, which can hurt you psychologically sometimes, but full credit to the players, they didn’t let it affect them, got on with it and got the three points.”

Johnson scored only his second and third goals of the season and his first at Deepdale since the pre-season clash with Stoke City, the opener being a trademark curling effort from outside of the box and the PNE boss felt the midfield man had benefitted from being given a little more licence to get forward than he had been allowed of late.

“That first year DJ got eight or nine goals and was very confident in his ability with those sort of goals,” continued Simon. “He has probably had a little bit of a different role the last few weeks, playing as two rather than a three, which doesn’t allow you to get forward as much, but we did encourage him this week to try and get a little bit higher up the pitch and it was a good move, good play, a good set from Marnick and a great finish.

“When you see it from behind, he sets it from outside of the post and gave the keeper no chance.

“We haven’t had any penalties throughout the season, but it was a good spot from the referee. At first I was a bit surprised as to why it had been given, but when you see it, it is a great spot from Kevin Friend and it’s a clear penalty and a very composed finish from DJ.”

The win will allow the Deepdale faithful to head to all parts of Lancashire with their heads held high after coming out on top in their latest derby match and the manager feels that this what these games is all about.

“These derbies are about the fans and the bragging rights.

“Last year we came out on top in a few and we obviously lost a couple as well.

“We did say to the players ‘let’s have that feeling in the dressing room of having won a derby match’ and we have come out on top tonight in a cracking Lancashire derby,” he added.

He hear more from Simon Grayson as well as an interview with two-goal hero Daniel Johnson, then click here to log into PNE PlayerHD now.

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