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First Team News

Gaffer On 'An Eight Game Season'

30 March 2017

Manager Simon Grayson looks ahead to the final eight games of the season as he prepares his side to face Nottingham Forest.

North End host Mark Warburton's side at Deepdale on Saturday and the gaffer admits it's now crunch time with so many teams having plenty to play for. 
Speaking ahead of this weekend's game, the PNE boss said: "We are down to eight games now and you talk about an eight game season where there is a lot still riding on it for us and a lot of other clubs. 
"It is the business end of the season that everyone talks about. We are looking forward to it, looking to embrace it, and ultimately just see where it takes us. 
"If we get to where we really want to get to then absolutely fantastic, if we drop short, then it's still been a very good season but what we can guarantee for everybody is that we will give it our utmost to try and get to where we want to get to as we keep mentioning. 
Every team that North End face in the coming weeks has something to play for, either chasing promotion or aiming to avoid relegation, and the gaffer feels that shows just how strong the Championship can be. 
"I think that's just the Championship for you, anybody on their day can beat anybody, there is still so much riding on the top end and at the bottom. There are even teams that are mid-table that we could be up against that will have players playing for their futures. 
"You also want to finish the season in a positive manner because it can carry forward to the following season so there is a lot riding on it for everybody from now until the first week in May, potentially beyond that. 
With the match marking the end of the international break, Grayson was pleased to have his full squad back together on Thursday after Aiden McGeady, Andy Boyle and Daryl Horgan returned from their time away with the Republic of Ireland. 
On the preparations for Saturady's game, the manager continued: "Thursday morning has been the first time we could work tactically in preparation for the Nottingham Forest game. The period of time before that we have worked with the players, we've had a bounce game against Fleetwood, we've got some good work into the players but also they've had a bit of time off to recharge the batteries. 
"As much as it can be frustrating, we are also very proud and privileged as a football club to have these lads away representing their country, it must be a huge honour for them.
"We are now one of a number of clubs right the way through the leagues that will have players away and the one thing you want to do is make sure they come back in one piece and fortunately for us all three of them have."
Hear more from the gaffer by watching our extended interview on PNE PlayerHD.

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