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First Team News

Desire And Determination Delights Simon Grayson

18 March 2017

Simon Grayson praised the spirit of his side after they claimed a late, late point at Ewood Park.

Much was at stake going into the game with both sides desperate for maximum points, but it was North End who started the game in the ascendency after Tom Barkhuizen slotted home after 13 minutes.

Rovers responded with a fine strike from Elliott Bennett just before half-time, and the hosts soon took the lead through Craig Conway inside the hour.

From that point, it was difficult to see how the visitors would find a way back into the game; Losing away from home to a rejuvenated Blackburn side.

However, backed by a 6,000 plus support, the all yellow Lilywhites gritted their teeth and found an equaliser, through the quick thinking of Aiden McGeady who took one touch before squeezing the ball into the net sending the away end into ecstasy.

"It feels like a win for us," said Grayson on how this afternoon panned out. "But on the other hand for Blackburn it will feel like a defeat, it's amazing how football comes around as they got a late draw the other week.

"When you reflect on the game, we were the better team for about 25 minutes, got the goal and was dominant. They got back into it before half-time through a good goal.

"We didn't start the game well enough - we got into some good positions in terms of manouvering the ball but we showed the desire and character to ensure we did what was required to get a point at the very least.

"You've got to give Blackburn a lot of credit - they're a good team and got people into pockets to hurt us and we had to withstand quite a bit of pressure - We kept going and did whatever was required to get a result from the game."

Grayson continued to credit both goalscorers this afternoon after Tom Barkhuizen scored his fifth goal in four games - it was a frustrating game for McGeady on the whole, but the gaffer praised his composure in finding the net late on.

On Barkhuizen, Grayson added: "He's been a major threat when he's been playing on the shoulder and he's put the ball in and scored with a nice goal; he'll be disappointed he didn't get another as he had a few chances.

"It was a good goal - we kept on moving it and managed to pull the ball back and Geads (McGeady) showed the calmness. A few players would have got a bit too excited in that position and hit it first time but he's took a touch and tucked it away much to the delight of the travelling supporters.

"Our fans today kept roaring the team forward to try and get something from the game. It was end to end with both teams desperate for the points but it's another point to where we're trying to get to."

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