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First Team News

Simon Grayson Says Ipswich Will Be A Different Type Of Game

26 January 2017

Manager Simon Grayson looked ahead to the visit of Mick McCarthy’s Ipswich Town at the weekend saying it would be equally as tough as their recent games.

The Lilywhites go into the match on the back of an unbeaten start to 2017 in the league and with plenty of confidence after their comeback at Aston Villa, but the North End gaffer is well aware that every game in the Championship is a difficult test.

“The players are carrying out all the instructions that we ask them to do; what they did last Saturday showed a huge amount of character, because 2-0 down at a place like Villa Park, you could easily end up losing three, four of five if you are not careful, so the response from half-time was really good – they dug deep and that speaks volumes for this group,” said Simon.

“It is easy when you are one or two up and you can pass the ball around and everyone wants it, but the questions are asked of your players when their backs are up against the wall and they responded in a very positive manner.

“Saturday will be a different type of game; it will be equally as tough and we have to do everything that is required to keep picking up points.

“The squad are learning from past experiences; whether that is last year or earlier on this season at places like Brentford, or recent games where we might not have played as well, but we have stayed in games and it has given us an opportunity to build off that.

“The younger players are adapting their understanding of the game and becoming better match by match.”

In the opposition dug out at weekend will be a fellow straight-talking Yorkshireman and the PNE boss is looking forward to sharing a drink with him after the hostilities and is well aware what to expect from Mick McCarthy’s side.

“It is never easy to go to Portman Road and we weren’t on the best of runs [when we played them back in August], but since then we have picked up, but we know it is going to be a tough game.

“When you have someone in charge like Mick McCarthy, you know he is going to roll his sleeves up and get his team fired up to go and get a result, so we are in for a really tough game on Saturday against some good players and an exceptional manager – it is a tough game, as they all are in the Championship.

“Mick’s been someone I have grown close to over the years and someone who was there when I first became a manager was there to offer advice and always on the end of a call.

“When I left Leeds he was the first person on the phone to me telling me ‘you did a good job, just carry on doing what you’ve been doing’ and it speaks volumes that he is the longest serving manager in the Championship.

“I have a huge amount of respect for Mick and I know he will have his team organised and disciplined.

“Last week they went to Huddersfield and there was nothing in the game, they did a good job on Huddersfield until a decent goal from Izzy Brown opened up the opportunity for Huddersfield to win it,” he added.

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