Simon Grayson has offered his ‘sincere thanks’ to Preston North End fans for their continued loyal support following the team this season.
The ‘Gentry’ will be out in force for the campaign’s final outing away to Wolves on Sunday lunchtime having followed the Lilywhites in their numbers throughout the season.
That hasn’t escaped the attention of the PNE boss who wants to give the travelling faithful a fantastic send off for the summer this weekend.
“From a personal point of view, I’d like to offer my sincere thanks to everybody that’s travelled up and down the country,” the gaffer told PNE PlayerHD. “They’ve spent a lot of hard-earned money and hopefully they’ll appreciate the efforts from the staff, the players and what we’ve done.
“I’m sure that they’ll be turning out again next year. So a massive thanks to them because they have been fantastic for us, we’ve certainly heard their voices at many grounds right the way through the country and they've stuck with the team.
“They’ve helped us to score late goals to win or get back into the games, like at Brighton and other performances. Hopefully we can put on a performance and send them home happy. It’s been a big effort from everybody this season and hopefully we’ll get some more rewards at the weekend.”
Grayson gave his take on the campaign as a whole and suggested there was some misfortune for his team in parts of the season.
“In the first few weeks of the season, I thought we still played some good stuff but didn’t get the breaks or the results we probably warranted. In the second part of the season, we probably got the breaks and had a little bit of luck along the way, but we did play some very consistent football and beat some good teams.
“Then you’re going into the final stretch of the season where fatigue can play a part and mentally, it’s very difficult. But ultimately in April you’re playing some really big teams anyway, that was always going to be a tough part of the season when you’re going to Leeds, Huddersfield, Norwich and Newcastle.
“On paper they were four really massive games and when you looked at the fixtures back in June, they were always going to be difficult to get points from.
“We obviously got a point on Saturday [against Rotherham] where we’d have preferred to have got three, and we want to finish the season with a win if possible at Wolves. So we’ll do whatever we can do, but we can look back and be very pleased with what we’ve done.”
Looking back, Grayson felt there was plenty of encouragement to take into next season.
“When you look back and analyse the season, which we’ve done as a group of staff recently, ultimately we’re very pleased with what we’ve done but slightly disappointed with how it’s ended.
“When you look over the course of the season, you’re always going to go through patches where you can’t play to your maximum, you’re not going to get the breaks all the time and you’re not going to win matches, because that’s just the nature of the Championship.
“Even the teams that are going to get promoted have had sticky spells, teams that are in the Play-Offs have had sticky spells. But what we’ve done is play attractive football and improved from last year, so from that perspective it is encouraging.”