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First Team News

Gaffer: Both Teams Have Plenty To Play For

16 March 2017

Manager Simon Grayson admits there is more than just bragging rights up for grabs at Ewood Park this weekend.

North End are aiming to close the gap on the top six while Blackburn Rovers will be looking to continue their unbeaten run under new manager Tony Mowbray as they try to move away from the relegation zone. 
Speaking ahead of the game, the gaffer said: "When you have local derbies obviously there is extra spice given the distance between the two football clubs, but ultimately we need points to try and close the gap on the teams above us and certainly Blackburn need the points to get away from the relegation zone and stay in the division. 
"We need the three points, we want the bragging rights regardless of who we are playing and lets just hope we are celebrating a victory like we did there last year. 
North End were backed by 7,000 in the away end last season, and sales are already over 5,500 this time around. 
On the terrific support from the North End faithful, the gaffer continued: "When you hear that is was the highest following in the EFL at an away ground last season is just shows you what it meant to the supporters.
"It was a fantastic result for everybody connected with the club so lets hope it's a similar sort of thing, that we can go away with three points and play as well as we can do. 
"The players will certainly be aware of the number of supporters that are going to be there and they fully appreciate the effort they go to. 
Last season Jordan Hugill was the hero as he scored the winner at Ewood Park to secure the three points for PNE, and the manager knows it's a chance for one of his players to become a hero. 
"When you're in local derby matches, people always remember the goals that people scored and the celebrations. 
"It's ultimately about getting three points, that's what we need to do. We need to have the focus, keep playing with the belief and the confidence that we've got at the moment.
"We certainly won't be underestimating Blackburn Rovers because Tony Mowbray has done a fantastic job since he's gone in there and let's hope that by Saturday tea time we have another three points on the board."

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