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First Team News

Simon Grayson Hails Hugill Impact

21 January 2017

First Team News

Simon Grayson Hails Hugill Impact

21 January 2017

PNE boss Simon Grayson lauded Jordan Hugill after the forward was at the double in the 2-2 draw to Aston Villa this afternoon.

The manager was full of praise for Hugill, who dragged North End from the jaws of defeat after the Lilywhites found themselves 2-0 down at half-time, with a brace from Albert Adomah seeing the hosts take a first-half lead.

Although the first-half performance was far from what the manager expected when he spoke to PNEPlayerHD, Grayson was left frustrated with the second goal following the referee's decision to award a penalty, despite replays showing Aiden McGeady had won the ball and that the referee had over-ruled the linesman who also claimed it wasn't a penalty.

"It was quite baffling," said the PNE boss on the refereeing decision. "Andy Madley is a good referee but I just felt he should have trusted the instincts of his linesman because his view was better than the referee's. I'm not one for criticising but it could have been a key moment in the game for us.

"Aiden's got a good tackle in and he's won the ball. The linesman has been over-ruled by the referee which was the wrong decision but what we did was respond in a positive manner like my team have done all season."

Spearheaded by Hugill who led the line well throughout, North End returned to the second-half rejuvenated, and got their just rewards when Hugill's mazing run saw the frontman into the box before firing into the top corner.

His second saw him time his jump to perfection to meet a McGeady cross and power North End back into the game, moments before he was due to leave the pitch revealed Grayson.

"I suppose we were a little bit fortunate as he'd suffered a knee injury and Jermaine Beckford was getting ready to come on," continued Grayson,

"Fortunately, it didn't go out of play and McGeady's put in an excellent ball and Jordan was in the right place at the right time.

"I was critical of the players at half-time but I thought he was one in the first-half who did okay for us and second-half he showed what he's capable of doing and that's why I like the kid and that's why he's vital for us."

Grayson continued: "I thought in the first-half we were second best to everything. When we've played very well this season to whoever we played, it's because we've stopped the opposition from playing and made it difficult for them and we didn't do that and we made sure we told the players that.

"What they didn't do is bury their heads in the sand as they came out and got on the front foot. We did say that the third goal was vital and crucial because having come to games at Villa Park, I know it can be a little anxious at times and then there was two fantastic goals from Jordan Hugill and we deserved it. As the game got older, I felt there was only going to be one winner."

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