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First Team News

Simon Grayson: “An Outstanding Result”

14 January 2017

Manager Simon Grayson felt the result against automatic promotion chasers Brighton & Hive Albion was a culmination of a few performances.

The Lilywhites overcame their opponents, who sat top of the table on the back of an 18 match unbeaten run before the game, thanks to a goal in each half, the opener a header from Paul Huntington, added to by Callum Robinson – his seventh of the season – from a sumptuous through ball from full debutant Daryl Horgan.

And speaking to PNE PlayerHD after the game the gaffer was delighted with another positive team display.

“It had to be a good performance and it certainly was,” he said. “We knew each individual had to be on their game and make sure that the team did the jobs they had been asked to do and they did.

“They were very positive in their approach with the ball and without it we defended really well and limited some really good players to very few opportunities and it was an outstanding result that has probably been coming over the last few weeks. We have been reaching that level of performance without getting the results, so it is a great result for us.”

The opener was a repeat of a sight seen regularly in the League One promotion season, Gallagher crossing for Huntington to head home, whilst the second showed great composure from Robinson, who now tops the scoring charts for North End in 2016/17.

“It was a great ball from Gally and Hunts attacked it,” the PNE boss said of the opener. “It is amazing it was Wembley when he last scored, but that season Hunts was very good at doing that. It is great to get the first goal in any game, to try and build off that and ultimately we did; we took to the game to them, we didn’t sit back, we were very positive in what we were doing and we also had to defend and we made some good clearances and some good headers when they had good players who were trying to get them back into the game.

“When you see the pass from Daryl [for the second goal], it was a left footed pass and a great ball into Callum’s stride.

“Callum did well to get the wrong side of the defender and full credit to him; a lot of other players might well have gone down under the pressure, got the free kick and maybe got the player sent off, but he stayed up and it was great to see the ball hit the back of the net, because it is nice to get that comfort – if you can call it that – of a two goal lead.

“I was very impressed with Daryl. I had no hesitation putting him into the team today given how he has trained and how he played last week for us.”

The two centre halves, with skipper Tom Clarke alongside goalscorer Huntington were superb against the much-vaunted pair of Glenn Murray and Sam Baldock and Simon agreed that their performance was a real high point for his team.

“They were magnificent.
“The team were very good, but when that ball goes into the 18 yard box against Murray, Baldock and Hemed, when he was on, you have to be alert and give them no opportunities and full credit to Tom and Hunts, they were on the front foot, aware of things and they deserved that clean sheet.

“I was disappointed that we gave a penalty away, as it was an opportunity to not have that clean sheet, but ultimately Chris redeemed himself with a great save,” he added.

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