100 not out for PNE boss

North End manager Simon Grayson
North End manager Simon Grayson
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Simon Grayson is eyeing up a double century of games as Preston North End manager.

The 45-year-old will take charge of his 100th match as North End boss tomorrow when his team travel to London Road to face Peterborough United.

When he took control at Deepdale in January 2013, Preston were lurching dangerously towards the League One relegation zone after the disastrous tenure of previous boss Graham Westley.

The fact that Grayson has managed to steady the ship and turn the club into genuine promotion challengers in the 23 months since, gives him a great deal of pride.

However, as far as he is concerned, his work at the club has only just begun and he will not rest until he has put the club back where he believes it belongs.

“I’m really pleased and proud with how things have gone,” Grayson said.

“I think the first thing you do as a manager coming into a club which has been struggling is you try to galvanise it and try to get it going in the right direction again.

“We’ve certainly done that. Last year was a good year – unfortunately we could not quite finish off our objective at the start of the season, which was promotion. But we have carried that on so far this year.

“We’ve had 99 games – there have been a lot of victories in that time and not too many defeats so we need to carry that on.”

This weekend sees Grayson come face to face with one of his PNE predecessors Darren Ferguson. While the son of Manchester United’s legendary ex-manager Sir Alex had a largely unhappy spell in charge at Deepdale, he has enjoyed lots of success as Posh boss.

He was handed the job at Preston in 2010 on the back of winning two successive promotions at Peterborough.

And returned to London Road soon after leaving his post at Deepdale and guided them to another promotion, although they were subsequently relegated from the Championship.

“It seems like Darren and Peterborough are a perfect fit,” Grayson mused.

“He’s won promotion there a few times and we are well aware of what Darren and his team can do.

“Their front two of Craig Mackail Smith and Aaron McLean – if they can recapture anything like the form that they had in the past – will be a real handful.”

On the injury front, Grayson revealed defender Bailey Wright – who has undergone groin surgery – is close to full fitness but is unlikely to be risked over the Christmas period.

Left-back David Buchanan (tight hamstring) may miss out tomorrow but should be fit for the Boxing Day clash against Barnsley .