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Wembley Rewind: Grayson Credits The Players As PNE Return To The Championship

24 May 2016


Wembley Rewind: Grayson Credits The Players As PNE Return To The Championship

24 May 2016

An ecstatic Simon Grayson praised his players for blasting Swindon Town away in the League One Play-Off Final at Wembley.

The Lilywhites banished the club’s Play-Off hoodoo to the history books with an emphatic display at the national stadium; Jermaine Beckford stealing the show with a stunning hat-trick.

And it was just rewards for his players according to the gaffer as he spoke following the match.

“We have had almost two weeks to plan and organise how we were going to play today, we knew exactly how Swindon would play and full credit to the players,” said Grayson.

“One, they turned up on the day, and two, they executed the game plan to a tee.

“We knew Swindon, if we allowed them to play, could hurt us.

“They are a very good footballing team, but we knew we had a threat at the top end of the pitch that could hurt them.

“Full credit to the players; one, they responded well from the disappointment of the Colchester game and showed a lot of character, but also how they executed and the determination they had to finish off a job we should have really done a few weeks ago.”

North End were two up inside the opening 15 minutes as Jermaine Beckford pounced on a Paul Gallagher free kick before the Scot grabbed his second assist when Paul Huntington doubled Preston’s advantage.
A start that was all part of Grayson’s master plan.

He continued: “We knew we had to get out of the traps quickly, we knew we had to stop them from playing and we also knew that with Joe Garner and Jermaine Beckford we would get opportunities.

“We got a free kick early and Paul Gallagher with a great delivery and Jermaine finished it.

“Then we had the second one and it was a fantastic start for us.

“We still had to make sure we were disciplined and organised because we knew that Swindon would have possession of the ball and we knew that once we got numbers behind the ball we could still hit them on the break.

“And when you have got Garner and Beckford in your team you are going to get opportunities.”

So what does the future hold?

Well it starts with enjoying the next couple of days according to the PNE manager before the hard work starts for the Championship campaign.

But Grayson believes the foundations are already in place for the Lilywhites to kick on to the next level.

The boss added: “We have been backed by the owner with a lot of things and the football club has got the infrastructure, the players, the supporters and an owner who is determined to be successful; all these things have contributed to the success of today.

“It is a fantastic feeling after suffering a huge disappointment; and it was a massive disappointment losing out on automatic promotion, but there is no better way to win a promotion than by doing it at Wembley.

“We will enjoy tonight and the next couple of days and then we will get down to work about what we need to do.

“We have always been planning, plan A and plan B, but we have got an owner who has a football Club that is debt free and we have also got players who want to stay at the Club.

“We are not going to make any rash statements about ‘this time next year we are going to be in the Premiership’ or anything like that, but we will approach it over the next few weeks and come back for pre-season and try to do as well as we can.”

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