Preston North End manager Simon Grayson has been impressed by Monday’s hosts at the Pirelli Stadium, Burton Albion.
“I have been very impressed by Burton,” the gaffer told PNE PlayerHD on New Year’s Day. “When they played against us, in the first half hour of that game we were very fortunate to still be in the game, we could have been out of it down to how well they had played. They moved the ball quickly and got bodies forward.
“Going to the Pirelli Stadium will be in a new encounter for a few people and they have some good players. I watched their game against Villa and they played very well; they didn’t play as well against Rotherham and won the game and that shows us the nature of the Championship.
“It will be a really tough game, but we go there very positive after the performance against Sheffield Wednesday and we will be looking to get the three points, because we can beat anybody on their day, although we are respectful of the key players of Burton and how they can hurt us.”
The manager and his staff have a lot to consider when they pick the team for the Lilywhites’ first ever clash at Burton’s home ground, but with many players available, including new signings Andy Boyle, Daryl Horgan and Tom Barkhuizen, he is happy at the options open to him.
“What we have looked at as a staff is the possibility of the next game,” said the North End chief about whether the team was already picked before the Owls game in the final hours of 2016.
“Nothing is ever set in stone – that was illustrated on Saturday. We were going to take Gally and Geads off after about an hour because of the injuries they had just come back from, but because of how they were doing and the way the game was, they started on for 85 and 90 minutes respectively.
“We have had an eye on it though and there are certain things we will stick to and there will be other aspects where we switch it around from what we though originally. I am not going to give any clues as to what exactly we are going to do, but we have a fantastic squad available to us, with strength in depth and everyone will be in consideration.
“We will talk to players today and on matchday. When you have played well at the weekend the mind-set is a lot clearer for them. As soon as we had played on Saturday there were players saying I want to play on Monday and ultimately the decision will be down to the staff, the system and not doing something stupid that we might regret. We have a lot to consider, but a lot of options as well.”
To watch more from the manager and to also watch an interview with new No.29 Tom Barkhuizen, who is available for selection for the first time after ratification of his contract by the relevant authorities, click here to log on to PNE PlayerHDnow.