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Simon Grayson Proud Of How His Team Played

31 December 2016

Manager Simon Grayson felt disappointed, frustrated, yet proud after his side were robbed of a deserved win in the final hours of 2016.

Greg Cunningham’s deflected goal had given the Lilywhites a deserved lead with 13 minutes left at Deepdale, but former North End loan man Adam Reached smashed home with virtually the last kick of the game to give the Owls a point thanks to their first shot on target.

And after the game the manager felt his dominant side did not deserve that cruel late blow: “To concede in the last minute, with virtually the last kick of the game, is hugely disappointing, but when you have dominated a game and looked so comfortable and it costs you points, it is even more frustrating,” he told PNE PlayerHD after the game.

“We have to be proud of how we have played today.

“We have made a team who have aspirations of the top two look very very average and it is slim consolation when their manager and players come in and say they have got away with it.

“It happens in football and I am sure from now until the end of the season we will get a late equaliser or winner, but it is hard to cope with it at this moment in time.”

And it was typical that it was Reach who got the goal: “It was disappointing whoever scored it, because we had done more than enough to win that game,” continued Simon. “We just needed one proper clearance out of the box, but we just couldn’t get it away and it deflates you.

“We have to draw the positives from it and give a huge amount of credit to the players after they responded to the disappointing result and performance on Monday against Leeds.

“They have to dust themselves down now, do a recovery session on Sunday, do some work and then travel down to Burton ready to go again.”

After the differing results of the two sides on Boxing Day the gaffer was expecting a tough game, but saw his side put on a real show and he feels there is plenty to take to Burton on Monday.

“We knew how tight it was going to be, given how good they have been defensively away from home, but we knew we had to pass it a little bit quicker, move the ball and I thought we were.

“We were on the front foot, they hardly got out of their own half and it was attack after attack in the second half, which is why it was such a body blow for everybody, but the last kick of the game has cost us more points.

“We’ve had a fantastic performance today. The crowd were excellent, got right behind the players and as much as it is a disappointing end to 2016, we can be very pleased with how we have played and we look forward to the new year now,” he added.

For the full interview with Simon, plus the thoughts of centre half Paul Huntington, click here to log into PNE PlayerHD now.

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