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First Team News

Simon Grayson On Wolves Game Motivations

4 May 2017

Preston North End manager Simon Grayson says his team are highly motivated to finsh their season with a positive performance at Molineux on Sunday.

The Lilywhites head into the Wolves den looking to pick up three points to finish the campaign with a higher points total than the previous season and Simon believes that it will be more of an achievement, given the opposition they have come up against in 2016/17.

“The fact we can better our points tally from last season is a massive motivation for us and it is a big achievement, given the size of the teams who came down last season,” said the PNE gaffer. “Newcastle, Norwich and Aston Villa are huge teams and to achieve what we have this year has been fantastic and whether we beat the points total or not, I think we have improved as a team.

“We have scored more goals, we have been closer to the Play-Offs, we have played good football and we are improving all the time.

“To be above teams, like Wolves, and other teams who have spent a lot of money, speaks volumes for our squad. Wolves spent £13m on one player last summer, which is a huge amount of money for the Championship and it again shows how well we have done.

“Teams down the bottom have big squads and spent lots of money, but something is wrong, because they have been in a relegation scrap for the last two or three months. That is not something we have had to think about since the first two months of the season. We have been looking at the top and that is a positive for this group.”

The opposition have had a change of manager during the campaign in their own attempts to get on an upward curve and the North End chief says the ambition of the black country club was clear for everyone to see.

“There were lots of teams spending large budgets at the top of the table, but there have also been a lot of other clubs that have also spent a huge amount of money - £13m for a Championship player is pretty much unheard of.

“It showed you what Wolverhampton Wanderers wanted to do this year – trying to get into the Play-Offs. Bringing in the manager that they did at the start of the season, changing it with Paul [Lambert] going in, who has come from a Premier League club in Aston Villa and then Blackburn last year. So they’ve set their stall out with what they’ve wanted to do and I think they’ll be a little bit disappointed with how things have panned out, but we go there try to win the game.

“They’ll be wanting to send their home supporters home in a positive frame of mind like we are with ours, so it will be a tough game.”

And the manager is well aware of the threats at the disposal of Lambert and his staff: “They’ve got some very talented individuals, when you look at Dicko and then Weimann and Edwards, who is a goalscoring midfield player.

“They’re quite dogged; Williamson’s come back in and he has got a lot of experience. So you look at the squad and there’s some very talented players in it, and that’s why I think they’ll be slightly disappointed with where they are at this moment in time.

“But that’s not for us to worry about; we’ll go there and whoever plays, whatever system we play, we want to go there and put on a good performance.

“We need to be resilient and hard to beat, because we’ve been a little bit too easy over the last few weeks – but also we can’t lose that edge of an attacking threat that we’ve got within the group,” he added.

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