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First Team News

Simon Grayson Credits Defensive Work Of Both Sides

18 February 2017

North End boss Simon Grayson felt the defensive display of both sides deserved praised following PNE's goalless draw to Wigan this afternoon.

Neither side could find that illusive cutting edge in the final third resulting in a share of the spoils, and Grayson felt that the solidity of the Wigan defence in particular ensured there would be no goals to report on at the DW Stadium.

"I think you have to give credit to the opposition who worked extremely hard," said the gaffer who spoke to PNEPlayerHD following the conclusion of tonight's game

"They were quite defensive in how they set out but they did that as they need as many points as they can at this stage in the season.

"Full credit to Warren (Joyce) as they made it difficult. We lacked that cutting edge that we've had in previous games and maybe three games in seven days has caught up with some of our players.

"We defended really well and there was some very good individual performances. When we look at opposition, we look at players and see who we need to stop and I'm sure the opposition are doing the same with our players now - they were very solid and worked extremely hard.

"We changed it around to try and win the game in the second-half but ultimately it was two teams who defended very well with not a lot of quality in the final third. Seven points from nine, we'd have taken that at the start of the week."

The narrative could have been very different had Jordan Hugill converted his spot-kick just ten minutes into the game after Omar Bogle fouled Callum Robinson inside the box.

Instead, Matt Gilks guessed correctly to deny Hugill another derby day goal, a key moment in the game for the gaffer.  

He continued: "Penalties have been few and far between this season so we were delighted when one came our way. Jordan's been practising penalties all week and waiting for one all season but unfortunately when it's come along he's not hit it as well as he'd have liked to have done.

"It would have meant that they'd have come out a bit more but it shows how far we've come in the fact that we're disappointed today that we've dropped points away from home in the Championship.

Backed by a 5,000 strong away following, the Lilywhites came out to a sea of yellow from one corner of the ground with the club organising masks for each supporter - on one side the face of the PNE boss marking his four years in charge and the other side all yellow in respect of the club's away colours and Grayson credited the performance of the supporters this afternoon.

"I came out a little bit later because I thought we were going to come out to my face so I thought I'd stay a little bit behind!" joked Grayson.

"But we had fantastic support from our fans today and unfortunately we couldn't get them the bragging rights but hopefully that will change in a few weeks when we go to Blackburn.

"I thought if any team was going to win it, it was going to be us but sadly it wasn't to be."

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