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First Team News

Simon Grayson: "It Was The Least We Deserved"

7 March 2017

PNE boss Simon Grayson felt Tom Barkhuizen's last gasp equaliser was well earned this evening.

Derby took an early second half lead through Matej Vydra who pounced on David Nugent's rebounded effort to send the hosts ahead five minutes into the second half.

The all yellow Lilywhites huffed and puffed in an attempt to draw the scores level, but it took a route one ball from Chris Maxwell, who pumped the ball forward to Tom Barkhuizen who squirmed the ball past Scott Carson and into the net.

"Given how we dominated the last 20 minutes of the game, I felt we deserved at least a draw," said the PNE boss after the final whistle.

 "There wasn't much in the first-half and it was quite equal between both teams. We had some opportunities as did they, we just felt if we passed the ball quicker and closed them down a little bit quicker, there was a game to be won.

"We obviously got off to a poor start in the second half but I can't fault the lads' effort and the character, and the lads who affected the game."

Simon Grayson handed a starting debut in tonight's 1-1 draw against Derby to Andy Boyle on his 26th Birthday, and the PNE boss felt the Irishman performed admirably especially considering the opposition he was up against.

"We're very pleased with Boyle who did superbly well on his debut," continued the PNE gaffer.

"When you make your debut it's always nice but when you do it against David Nugent, Matej Vydra and Tom Ince, that's some attacking threat but he did really well.

"I wasn't aware that it was his birthday when I picked him so it was done purely for footballing reasons, not sentimental reasons but he'll have enjoyed his birthday today. Making your debut at any level is special and putting a performance in like he did just shows you why we signed him."

On the performance of Barkhuizen who made it two goals in two starts, the gaffer continued: "Tom's done really well - his goal on Saturday was a cool finish.

"If we hadn't had scored we would have got a penalty because Scott Carson had brought down Tom in the box. It's another point for the campaign and it just shows the lads' character.

"For their goal, we gave it away cheaply and we didn't get the rub of the green but we did get the rub of the green for our goal which was nothing less than we deserved.  

"Decision making in the second-half wasn't great from us, we didn't really ask many questions and use our strengths and working the opposition's back four but we kept perservering and we kept the energy levels up and got a deserved goal."

For more reaction from the PNE gaffer, who also talks about PNE's controversial disallowed goal, head to PNEPlayerHD by clicking here now.

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