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First Team News

Simon Grayson: 'Disappointing End But A Positive Season On The Whole'

7 May 2017

Preston North End boss Simon Grayson refused to let the last few games detract from a good season on the whole.

Following the conclusion of the 2016/17 campaign after a narrow 1-0 defeat to Wolves, the manager said:"We've all said how disappointed we are at how it's ended because we've got high standards and we want to finish as high as possible in the table."

"We've been frustrated recently over the mistakes and not winning games but ultimately we cannot cloud over what has been a magnificent season.

"The competition in the Championship is huge - you see the players, the teams and the budgets that are in it and if somebody had said to me at the start of the season that we'll finish above Aston Villa then you would be delighted.

"It's something to analyse and it's something for the players to take away how the last month's panned out with what they need to do as individuals and what we need to do as a group better but it's been a good season and we've progressed with the basis of a good squad here.

"We've slipped below the standards but it's been a good year and I think the supporters will look back as will the players on what has been a memorable one."

The PNE gaffer fielded a 3-5-2 formation for the final day of the campaign, with Andy Boyle, Tyias Browning and Alex Baptiste forming a three man defence with Tommy Spurr and Tom Barkhuizen as wing backs in an attempt to form a more solid basis - However, things didn't quite go to plan when Danny Batth headed home for the hosts with two minutes on the clock.

"We looked at playing that system because we wanted to be more solid," continued Grayson on the change of formation this afternoon.
 
"we've conceded too many goals in the last month or so so we wanted to give ourselves a basis to play from; a bit like how we came here last year where we got a great win and performance.

"That goes out of the window when you concede in the first few minutes from a set piece and that was the undoing from us. That was disappointing for us considering how well we've played in the past away from home.

"We were too open - we needed to be more solid and that's been a trait of the last few games. If we give good players the space to play then they're going to ask questions, obviously Maxi has made them saves which gave us an opportunity to nick something, and we went close when Daryl Horgan forced a good save from their goalkeeper.

On the topic of Horgan, Grayson stated in his post-match interview how pleased he has been with both Horgan and Boyle following their introduction to the North End fold at the start of the year.

He added: "We've had to be careful over these two lads because they haven't had much of a break, I've played Andy today because I wanted to see how he was in a 3-5-2 and he's done his job again. They'll both benefit from being at the football club for six months and they'll need the rest, but they'll come back physically and mentally stronger ready for next season as will the other players."

Such is the time of the year, the manager spoke to PNEPlayerHD regarding the status of the current players who are out of contract this summer.

"We've made a decision that Jermaine Beckford and Anders Lindegaard will not be offered a new deal," continued Grayson.

"We wish Anders all the best for the future; with Jermaine, it's obviously been a frustrating season for him but you certainly can't forget what he has done for this football club. Without him, potentially we may not have been in this division; in the build up to the Play-Offs and obviously he scored the semi-final goals and the hat-trick at Wembley. It's a disappointing season for him in certain aspects but he'll go down in folklore history for PNE for what he did.

"These players will move on but they've been a joy to work with."

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