PNE boss out to put one over Rovers

Craig Short, Alan Kelly and Simon Grayson joined Blackburn on the same day 'in July 1999
Craig Short, Alan Kelly and Simon Grayson joined Blackburn on the same day 'in July 1999
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Simon Grayson says his experience of being frozen out as a player at Blackburn helped made him a stronger person.

The Preston North End boss comes up against Rovers when the clubs meet for the first time in 14 years a week on Saturday.

Grayson was at Ewood Park for three years. However, it was only in his first season there that he played.

“Brian Kidd signed me after Blackburn had come down from the Premier League and they were re-building the squad,” Grayson told the Evening Post.

“I signed on the same day as Alan Kelly and Craig Short – we were the Three Amigos!

“The first year was enjoyable, then Graeme Souness came in. It wasn’t until halfway through my time there that I found out if I played one more game, then Rovers had to pay Aston Villa a load more money.

“Preston were interested in me – David Moyes tried to sort something – but Graeme Souness wouldn’t let me come.

“He said I was too good for Preston but not good enough for Rovers, which was a bit strange.

“That was a difficult time but it made me a stronger character.

“I have taken that into my management – I don’t want to treat players like I was treated at that time.

“All that said, I enjoyed some of my time with Blackburn and there are still people who I know at the club – my son is in their academy serving as a scholar.

“It is a good club but I will be looking to get one over on them in the derby game.

“Alan Kelly will be the same. Kells was a fantastic servant of Blackburn but his roots are here at Preston.

“We are desperate to help Preston get points, whoever that is against.

Centre-half Short, who joined Rovers with Grayson, lost his job at Ewood Park on Tuesday. 
Gary Bowyer was sacked as manager, together with all of his first-team staff – Short was a coach.

Events at Ewood mean that for three games in a row, PNE will face clubs who have recently dismissed their manager.

Queens Park Rangers parted company with Chris Ramsey three days before North End played at Loftus Road last weekend.

Bowyer become the eighth managerial casualty in the Championship – the seventh having been Kit Symons who left Fulham last Sunday.

It is Fulham who Preston play on November 28 at Craven Cottage after facing Rovers.