PNE boss has no worries over replay

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Simon Grayson says the addition of next week’s FA Cup replay with Ipswich to Preston North End’s busy schedule in January is not a concern.

North End will host the Tractor Boys a week tomorrow for the right to face Billy Davies’ Nottingham Forest side at the City Ground in the fourth round.

Simon Grayson

Simon Grayson

If they do win the replay, facing Championship opposition away for the second round running is not the most attractive or lucrative of rewards.

But it would be a good test of PNE’s credentials with their main aim this season being a return to the second tier of English football.

Kevin Davies was on target in Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Portman Road, equalising within four minutes of Ipswich taking the lead through David McGoldrick.

Declan Rudd had saved a penalty from McGoldrick, but the striker followed up to net the rebound – Rudd getting a glove to that too.

North End boss Grayson told the Evening Post: “Having a replay doesn’t really concern me.

“We wanted to keep our momentum going and we want to have a run in the cup.

“At the moment we are nine games unbeaten away from home in league and cup which is pretty good going and a credit to the players.

“Momentum can carry you a long way and the draw against Ipswich has continued that.

“We will have players who will play against Wolves on Saturday and then in the replay the following Tuesday.

“It was nice to be in the draw for the fourth round and hopefully we can successfully come through the replay.

“The FA Cup is a fantastic trophy with a very proud history and tradition. To have a good cup run would be magnificent for the players and myself.

“For some people it might have lost some priority with the Champions League and money, but it is still a great competition to be involved in.”

Much of Preston’s play at Ipswich pleased Grayson, with them on top for spells and having more possession than their hosts.

“When we conceded the penalty we wanted to make sure we got back into the game quickly,” said Grayson.

“We did not want Ipswich to build any momentum and we scored a good goal through Kevin Davies.

“After that we created some good opportunities, and while Ipswich put us under pressure towards the end, Declan only really had one save to make.”

Neil Kilkenny caught the eye in what was the last game of his loan spell from Bristol City.

He is set to sign for North End for the remainder of the campaign this week after settling-up the remainder of his Robins contract.

Grayson left Tom Clarke, Jack King and Chris Humphrey out of the squad at Ipswich in order for them to get a rest ahead of this weekend’s visit to Wolves.

It was the first game in which defender Clarke had not featured this season.

Meanwhile, the remaining 415 tickets of North End’s allocation for Wolves were on sale today. Fans have snapped-up 2,181 tickets to date and a sell-out is expected.