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First Team News

Simon Grayson Looking For More Strides Forward

3 April 2017

Preston North End manager Simon Grayson has been delighted with the progress of his team this season, but it still looking for more.

The Lilywhites gaffer spoke ahead of the visit of Bristol City to Deepdale and felt that despite a slow start to the campaign, his team have been on an upward curve and it looking for that to continue.

“If we improve on last year, then it has still been a major achievement,” said Simon. “At the start of this season we all talked about how this was probably the strongest Championship that it has been in years with the teams that came down from the Premier League and the teams that came up and it has made it really competitive.

“So to have done what we have done so far – and someone has said to me in the past couple of days that only three teams have lost less games than us all season and that’s Newcastle, Brighton and Fulham, so that tells you how well we have done.

“Also, you have to remember that we lost six out of the first eight games of the season, so it puts into context what a great season we have had in general and if you took away the August start, we would probably be in the top three or four maybe.”

The next team in the way of continuing that progress is Bristol City, a side who have been a regular opposition for the PNE chief over his four years with the club.

“We know a lot about Bristol,” he continued. “We had plenty of battles with them in League and we won down at Ashton Gate earlier this season. They have some players that of course played for us in the past and they need the points as desperately as us, so it has the ingredients for a good game.

“With the players and the infrastructure they have got, they would probably be thinking themselves that they would like to be doing a bit better. But we will be concentrating on what we do as a football club, on and off the pitch; keep striding forwards and hopefully we continue do that year on year.

“It is a game where both teams need to win, so it should make it an entertaining game, like it was at the weekend. We will try to build off the better parts of the game on Saturday and improve on it and ultimately try and get three points, because Deepdale has been a good place for us recently.”

There could be two of his former squad members in the Bristol City squad tomorrow night in the form of Josh Brownhill and Bailey Wright, who will make his first return to Deepdale, having spent nearly ten years with the club, making over 200 appearances

“I said at the time [of Bailey’s departure], that players come and go to football clubs, as do manager, but supporters have a football club in their blood.

“Bailey made a decision that he felt was the right one for him. We wanted to keep him, but he moved on. I loved working with Bailey. I thought he was a really good lad.

“I don’t think we have suffered on the back of players leaving this football club. Andy Boyle and Alex Baptiste have come in and done very well and we will continue to look forward to working with the players we have here,” added the manager.


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