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First Team News

Simon Grayson Looking For A Reaction

2 February 2017

Preston North End manager Simon Grayson is hoping his side return to playing football on the front foot when they head to Barnsley’s Oakwell this weekend.

The Lilywhites lost only their fourth game in 21 Championship fixtures on Tuesday night at Cardiff, where the North End boss felt they failed to do what had brought them some of their previous good results and performances.

“We have been successful by being proactive, getting on the front foot and not waiting for things to happen,” he said of the display that saw them have 60 per cent possession, but not get on the scoresheet. “We have been aggressive in our approach without the ball, stopping the opposition from playing – whether it was Brighton, Arsenal or someone else – but the other night, when we were in possession, we were too slow with the ball.

“It was nice keeping it, but we didn’t play with any purpose and we didn’t threaten too much, especially in the first half.

“You have to learn from these games, which the players will do and hopefully we will get a good reaction on Saturday. We picked a team that didn’t work on Tuesday, but we will pick another on Saturday, that is hopefully the right one for getting us the three points.”

Saturday’s opponents, the Tykes, also suffered what has been a rare defeat in recent months and the North End gaffer was asked whether the ins and outs at the south Yorkshire club had made them stronger or weaker?

“Time will tell whether [whether they are stronger or weaker] from the turnover of players,” he continued. “They have a great spirit about them; they work extremely hard and they have gone out to replace players within their budget.

“It is not easy to lose Hourihane, Winnall and Bree and replace them in any window, but they have changed a few things round and Paul will look at it as an opportunity to give others a chance and replace them for the long term.

“[Alex] Mowatt is obviously suspended for our game, who is a good player that I know about, but they have tried to do their work efficiently and will be relishing the next game.”

Of his own selection dilemmas, Simon joked that he wouldn’t have any injury problems as none of his team had got near enough to make a tackle in the Welsh capital!

“We had one or two tired bodies after Tuesday night’s game, we didn’t get back until after 3am on Wednesday morning.

“The lads were in later on Thursday and will be again on Friday, but we will go over there in good spirits to try and get three points.

“I don’t think anyone will be a doubt from the game though, because we didn’t lay a glove on them!” He added.

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