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First Team News

Simon Grayson Not Giving Up On The Play-Offs

6 March 2017

Preston North End manager Simon Grayson says his side are aiming to win as many of their 11 remaining games as possible and see where that takes them.

Speaking ahead of their second of three games against teams in and around them in a week, the Lilywhites’ gaffer said the team were focused on a return to winning ways against Derby County at Pride Park and admitted he may look to rotate his squad to keep it fresh.

“There is an opportunity to change things round if we choose to,” said Simon. “I don’t think we’ll have anyone back in terms of our right back options, so we must decide whether are going to play with a three or a four at the back.

“Pearson was back at the weekend, Gally is fully fit and available and we have plenty of options if we choose to change it, especially with three games in a week and the travelling of two away games.

“We will pick a team we think is good enough to go and win a game and with 11 games to go and 33 points to play for, we want to win as many of them as possible, because we aren’t giving up on that opportunity to try and get in the Play-Offs.

“Teams below us are being talked about getting in the Play-Offs, so why shouldn’t we when we are up there. There is plenty to play for and we will keep going.”

The hosts on Tuesday picked up an important win, with familiar face David Nugent getting his first goal for the Rams since his transfer window move to the East Midlands and the PNE chief saw them in action last Tuesday at Ewood Park.

“I think their results give you an indication of the season they have had,” he continued. “When Steve went in they had a real upward curve in terms of results, but February wasn’t a good month for them.

“I watched them at Blackburn last week and they were probably a little bit below par. They got a much needed win against Barnsley at the weekend, but I think everyone connected with Derby County will be disappointed they are not higher up the division given the money and the players they have available.

“We are aware of the players they have got. When you can go out and spend the sort of money they have on Vydra and David Nugent etc. it just shows what you are competing against on a weekly basis in the Championship.”

North End head to Derby looking for their first away win since they were in the same vicinity, their New Year’s trip to Burton and Simon says they will be looking for a repeat result.

“Hopefully we are overdue an away win – that is certainly what we will be trying to do.

“To go to Barnsley and Villa and get draws are some decent points and it was obviously disappointing at Cardiff and at the weekend, but it is competitive in every game in the Championship and we will do everything we can to come back with the points,” he added.

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