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Simon Grayson Ready For Burton Test

24 November 2016

Manager Simon Grayson is happy to deal with the favourites tag if that is thrown at his team when they face Burton Albion for the first time.

The Lilywhites’ form in the last month has meant they now go into games where the expectancy levels from outside the club have risen and he is aware that this may mean teams come to Deepdale looking to make life difficult, as Paul Lambert and his Wolves side did last weekend.

Nigel Clough’s Brewers make their first ever visit to PR1 and the manager is prepared for any type of game: “It’s a possibility that teams come and make it very difficult for us,” he said. “When you look at the previous month of teams we have had, they have all come as the favourites and we go into this game at the weekend as favourites for the first time in a long time and we have to deal with that.

“We have to do whatever is required to go and win the game; make sure that we keep a clean sheet, allow the opposition very few opportunities, and when they come along for you, then try and take them. The two opportunities we had on Saturday we didn’t take, which would have resulted in another hard-earned three points for us.

“You have to be clinical, move the ball quickly and ask questions of the opposition; whether than is running at the opposition, getting quality balls into the box or passing and movement; you have to work hard to create opportunities. We have experienced it in the past when we were in League One, when we were the favourite.

“That is not necessarily the case now, but we have earned a little bit of respect with our results and performances.”

Clough’s side have adapted well to the second tier and picked up some excellent results, including memorable wins against Derby County and Sheffield Wednesday and the gaffer is expecting a tough match.

“They are adjusting to life in the Championship,” continued Simon. “They had a good start, scored plenty of goals and in the last few weeks Nigel has said that he is a bit disappointed that they haven’t got a better return in how well they have played.

“We have watched the games against Leeds and Reading and they were in the games. They haven’t taken their chances and that is the biggest difference when you get promoted.

“We found that last season and a bit this year, that the difference between the top teams and the top players is that they take their chances when they come along and you have to take your chances when they come along, because you don’t get as many as you did in the division below.

“We have to play with an intensity, pass the ball, be creative and make sure we keep a clean sheet and be ruthless in both boxes. If we do that, we have a great chance of winning the game. You have to be wary of the expectation, but within the group we know what we need to do.

“We went to Rotherham and there was a lot of expectation and we put in a really professional performance and we will be looking for the same on Saturday.”

There will be some familiar faces in the Burton team come 3pm on Saturday, with the likes of John Mousinho and Stuart Beavon making their return and the PNE chief will welcome them back.

“They are great lads to work with. As a football club we moved on. When they left we wished them well and it is fantastic to see them get promotions under their belt and get plenty of game time as well in the Championship.

“They were really good lads to work with and we will shake their hands after the game and wish them well,” he added.


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