PNE boss opts not to join in with deadline day ‘pantomime’

Tom Clarke
Tom Clarke
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SIMON Grayson has backed Preston’s current crop of players to continue establishing themselves in the Championship after deciding against doing any late business in the transfer window.

The PNE boss opted not to join in with the ‘pantomime’ of deadline day yesterday after a close review of what was available in the market.

In an ideal world, Grayson would have brought another striker to Deepdale before trading ended.

However, top target Tom Bradshaw was not available from Walsall and alternatives of the desired quality within budget, were few and far between.

Grayson is content with the business done over the last month, with Ben Pearson, Callum Robinson, Liam Grimshaw and Anders Lindegaard signed up.

He also pointed to Adam Reach’s loan extension as being a key deal.

“In this window, the price can go up but also, the limited availability of players is a thing to consider,” said Grayson who takes his side to play Derby County at Pride Park this evening (7.45pm).

“You don’t want to go out and bring in someone who is no better than what you have already got on the books.

“I’ve said this before but why would certain clubs sell players if they think they have a chance of going up or are trying to avoid going down?

“If that was us, we wouldn’t be selling players.”

The reference to a club having a chance of going up was in all likelihood Walsall.

They would not entertain any thoughts of selling leading scorer Bradshaw.

North End could well reignite their interest in the Welsh striker this summer.

With no new striker coming in, Grayson intends giving more opportunities to Jordan Hugill and Robinson in the coming weeks.

If there is a pressing need to bolster the forward line at any stage, he will be backed in the emergency loan market.

Said Grayson: “Yes, we could probably have done with another striker to give us some more depth to the squad

“We would love to have a few more goals in the locker and another striker but this group has done really well.

“But I don’t want to be detrimental to the squad and bring someone in who we don’t think is going to be good enough and also hinder the progress of some of our younger players who have waited patiently.

“Over the next few weeks, Jordan Hugill will get a chance, Callum Robinson will get a lot more game time.”

One piece of business done last night was extending Josh Brownhill’s loan to Barnsley until the end of the season.

In case he is needed back at Deepdale, there is a 24-hour recall clause in place from February 11.

Tonight’s trip to Derby will see skipper Tom Clarke back in the squad.

The centre-half has missed the last two games with a groin strain, sustained in the warm-up at Ipswich.