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Simon Grayson Looking For Positive Start To Next Batch

8 September 2016

After the international break the Lilywhites are looking to start another intensive period of seven games in three weeks with a first home league win.

The manager spoke ahead of the visit of Paul Heckingbottom’s Barnsley and has enjoyed working with his squad during the two week hiatus and is now ready to return to action.

“We want to start this next batch of games in a positive manner against a team who are doing really well; who improved their squad on deadline day and who have carried on the momentum from last year,” he said.

“They have done ever so well and are in the top six in the division so far. They have recruited well and used the money they got from Alfie Mawson going to Barnsley.

“They have got some good players; good wingers in Kent and Hammill, who I know. They are hard-working, honest team, who defend as a team, they break forward as a team and that hard work and desire can take you a long way as a team, as we proved last year.

“They have got players who can hurt you, but it is more about the team ethic that has got them off to the good start so far.”

It will be the first opportunity for the gaffer to select his three deadline day signings and with Aiden McGeady joining up with his new team-mates after Republic of Ireland duty, he is relishing the chance of working with the Everton loanee.

“He is fit enough to come into it and we will work with him. When you are 30-years-old and you have played as many games as he has, you understand the game and whatever role we ask him to play, he has played the role for all the clubs he has been at, at a higher level,” continued the PNE chief.

“I expect him to be in a good condition and therefore I will have no problems putting him in; it is just a question of what role we see him playing.

“We think he can bring something extra to the squad; something we have been missing. He has a lot of experience, a lot of talent and we are looking forward to working with him.”

The break has been beneficial to the manager, the coaching staff and the players, who have mixed rest and recuperation with some extended sessions and preparation for the upcoming fixtures.

“I head of one manager who apparently gave his squad nine days off, so you can go about things in different ways. For us it was a balance between getting some important work into the players and a bit of rest.

“It has been a very intensive opening period of the season and we go straight into another, but we also had a lot to work on and we have got some good work into the players and we are looking forward to getting the games underway again,” he added.

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