Grayson’s face fits at PNE

There is set to be a Simon Grayson takeover at the DW Stadium on Saturday
There is set to be a Simon Grayson takeover at the DW Stadium on Saturday
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Simon Grayson admits he is slightly bemused with the prospect of seeing nearly 5,000 reflections staring back at him at Wigan this Saturday.

Preston North End’s manager celebrates his fourth anniversary of taking charge at Deepdale as the Lilywhites make the short trip to the DW Stadium this weekend.

To mark the occasion the club will be handing out masks to the 4,733 fans who have sold out PNE’s entire allocation for the Championship clash.

The reverse of the masks will be all yellow, the colour of North End’s away kit, with supporters being encouraged to create a sea of yellow as the teams come out.

Yellow appears to be the preferred option for Grayson, the 10th-longest serving manager in English football.

“What a thought that is,” said the PNE boss when asked about the prospect of his face taking over one end of the ground.

“I not quite sure about it but I’m sure there will be parents putting them on the fireplace to keep their kids away from the fire.

“Whoever’s come up with the idea I appreciate it but my concern is about winning the game and getting three points rather than what everybody’s looking like.”

The Lilywhites chief does believe the travelling support will be key as his side go in search of a third straight win, having seen off both Brentford, 4-2, and Birmingham, 2-1, at Deepdale over the last week.

It is far from the first time that fans have come out in force for local derbies during his time in charge.

“They do make derby days very special our supporters,” said Grayson.

“Last year when we went to Burnley, to Bolton, to Blackburn, they played a key part in getting us those victories.

“Hopefully it’s the same again on Saturday and they will see us come out on top.”

Grayson could have Paul Gallagher available for selection again, the midfielder back in light training on Wednesday, having missed the back-to-back victories with a thigh problem.

The North End manager named an unchanged side against Birmingham after the impressive Brentford win and knows those involved will be keen to play a third game in seven days.

“We’ve had two physical games, which you get in the Championship but the players are playing with confidence,” said Grayson.

“We’ve got a few niggles. One or two came through 
fitness tests before the 
Birmingham game.

“But we’ve got some players coming off the bench and affecting the games and we’ve got players who aren’t in the squad who could certainly 
figure strongly in the team.

“It’s nice to have those 
options.”