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First Team News

Manager Simon Grayson Looking To Entertain

13 February 2017

Preston North End manager Simon Grayson said his side would continue to look to entertain going into the second home game in four days.

The Lilywhites are looking for back-to-back home wins after demolishing Brentford at Deepdale at the weekend, with the influential Aiden McGeady scoring twice and setting up another.

And looking ahead to the visit of Gianfranco Zola’s Birmingham City, the North End boss said that he was hoping for more of the same from Saturday.

“We are looking to entertain; that’s what the business is all about, but you have to get the right balance,” said Simon.

“A team of Aiden McGeady’s would be entertaining, but not necessarily successful, so you have to get it right. We spoke in pre-season and going into the season that we still needed somebody who could do something out of nothing and have that ‘x factor’ and Aiden fitted that bill perfectly.

“We are glad to have had him here and he is enjoying what he is doing and that’s the biggest thing for me – that the players come in to training every day, enjoy what they are doing and ultimately try and take that into a match situation.”

Earlier this campaign the two sides shared four goals in an entertaining game at St Andrews, but the PNE gaffer is aware that it’s a different Blues side his team face this time around.

“We had some good chances against them, but since then they have changed their manager, got new players in and it is a different style of football, which is something we have to deal with,” he continued.

“We have had some very competitive games against them in the past; last year we drew down there and also drew at home in a game where we probably didn’t deserve it, because they were better than us on the night.

“We have worked on the things we need to work on. There are certain things we can improve upon from the weekend and hopefully we can try and get the same outcome as Saturday.”

The second city team’s boss, a Chelsea legend, is a familiar face to the Lilywhites’ chief and he is looking forward to seeing the Italian in the opposite dug out.

“I like Gianfranco. I am quite close to him; I have met him quite a few times, both professionally and personally and he is a really good bloke.

“He has changed the formation around and their style. On Friday night they went with a diamond in midfield and two upfront, but before that they have used other systems, so that is something we have to be aware of.

“He has not hit the ground running like he would have liked to have done. They have had one win in their last few games, but they have been unfortunate the last few weeks. They have had some key players out, like Shotton, Morrison, Donaldson and they’ll be without Davis on Tuesday night.

“We are well aware of their strengths and their weaknesses and what we have to do. They have spent a lot of money in the transfer window, have recruited a lot of different players and we have to be ready for every eventuality,” he added.

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