PNE boss demands more

Paul Gallagher could be in contention to return to the squad at Wigan after battling a thigh problem

Paul Gallagher could be in contention to return to the squad at Wigan after battling a thigh problem

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Simon Grayson believes his Preston North End side need to hit new heights if they are to make it three wins in a week at Wigan on Saturday.

The Lilywhites have seen off both Brentford and 
Birmingham at Deepdale this week with a trip to the 
struggling Latics up next.

Former PNE midfielder Warren Joyce’s side may be 22nd in the Championship but Grayson knows a hat-trick of victories is anything but a 
forgone conclusion.

“The one thing we won’t do is go to Wigan and underestimate them and think we can be complacent,” said the North End boss, whose side sit 10th and seven points shy of the play-off places.

“We have to earn the right to play.

“Everyone’s scrapping for points right the way through the division.

“We know we probably need to work harder than we did on Tuesday night and have more quality than on Tuesday night if we want to win the game.”

The Latics picked up an 
impressive, and much-
needed, 1-0 win at Wolves in midweek and could move out of the relegation places with a derby victory on Saturday.

Preston will be backed by a sell-out away following of more than 4,700, who will all be given Simon Grayson masks to mark his fourth anniversary in charge.

“At the top end it’s a scrap for the top two and the play-off positions and even down the bottom it’s all very tight,” he said.

“I’m not really concerned about what’s happening at the bottom to be fair.

“It’s about what we try and do week in and week out.

“Saturday’s going to be a cracking game and cracking atmosphere and hopefully we can take forward what we’ve done in the last few games.”

There was quite a turnaround at the DW in January, with eight players arriving on transfer deadline day.

New £1m front man Omar Bogle made his mark with two goals on his full debut against Norwich and is a player 
Grayson knows all about.

“We looked at him when he was at Solihull and kept an eye on him at Grimsby,” he said.

“You’d be foolish not to look at players like that and we watched him a lot as we’ve done with others.

“They’ve got some experience in there and younger players who are hungry to progress through the leagues.

“We know what to expect. I watched Wigan put in a good performance against Norwich and they’ve got good players.

“They’ve had a bit of a turnaround in the January window and the performance against Wolves will give them plenty of encouragement.”

Paul Gallagher could be available again after a thigh problem, having returned to training on Wednesday.