PNE boss Grayson: Rovers point could be vital in the long run

Preston North End Manager Simon Grayson looks on at Ewood Park.
Preston North End Manager Simon Grayson looks on at Ewood Park.
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Simon Grayson believes Preston’s late point at Blackburn could be a crucial one come the end of the season.

The Lilywhites couldn’t kick on from Tom Barkhuizen’s fifth goal in four games with strikes from Elliott Bennett and Craig Conway turning the tide in Rovers’ favour.

It needed a dramatic Aiden McGeady strike in the third minute of stoppage time to ensure PNE went into the international break with some momentum from the 2-2 draw.

The result leaves Grayson’s side five points shy of the play-off places with eight games to play.

“Barkhuizen has been exceptional for us and showed a different side of his game today.” he said.

“He anticipated it and finished it well.

“After that credit to Blackburn. They passed it well got into some good areas that hurt us at times.

“We had to stay strong but you can never question the spirit within the dressing room and who knows, when it comes to the end of the season it could be very, very valuable.

“We’re delighted to have not lost the game.”

McGeady keeping his cool to complete a fine team move in the 93rd minute was a memorable moment in front of 6,005 travelling fans.

“The fans were brilliant and you could sense they were trying to suck that ball into the back of the net in the latter stages,” said Grayson.

“There’s no better feeling that when you score a late equaliser or winner in front of your following and to have that many just shows you what it means to everybody.

“It was a good derby game.”

The game appeared to heading the way of the struggling hosts until the introduction of Paul Gallagher 15 minutes from time against his former club.

“He’ll give you a pass, he’ll give you good delivery from set pieces and that’s why we put Simon Makienok on as well because he was a handful when he came on,” said Grayson, who also switched from 4-4-2 to three centre backs.

“You don’t want to play direct football at all times but sometimes you have to ask questions of the opposition and make sure that you pick up second balls.

“And to be fair it wasn’t a direct ball that got us the equaliser it was good play.”