PNE boss ready to go again

Jordan Pickford training with England Under-21s

Jordan Pickford training with England Under-21s

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Simon Grayson is aiming for refreshed Preston to move to the right side of the fine-margins border when they resume action against Cardiff at Deepdale tomorrow.

The Lilywhites manager has often found himself lamenting the finer details of games going against his side in the opening two months of the season.

During the international break, Grayson has worked hard on and off the pitch with his squad in order to come up with a winning formula.

That work will be put to the test over the next three weeks when PNE squash in six league games ahead of the next break in the fixture list.

Grayson said: “Both in the press and privately with the players in the dressing room, I have spoken about us being well and truly in every game we have played so far this season.

“We have not been overrun by any team from minute one to the last minute.

“The players have shown fantastic spirit, good quality at times, but have been undone either by some good play from the opposition or a mistake by ourselves.

“Those mistakes we need to eradicate at this level.

“If we keep working hard, maintain our confidence and belief, we will ultimately get results.

“We are not a million miles away from where we want to be and a couple of wins in this division can soon move you up the table.

“The international break came at a good time for us, we worked hard in training and also in the classroom so to speak – discussing what is needed with the players.”

Grayson will hand a start to Paul Gallagher tomorrow, the midfielder having recovered from the calf injury which sidelined him last month.

Eoin Doyle is ineligible to face his parent club, while Joe Garner serves the second game of a three-match ban.

Jordan Pickford and Alan Browne have returned from international duty.

Pickford took plaudits for his assist in England Under-21s’ victory over Kazakhstan. His inch-perfect goalkick sent Nathan Redmond clear to score in the 3-0 win.

The goalkeeper’s kicking is something Grayson wants to utilise more at Preston.

Said Grayson: “Jordan has got one of the best left foots at this club – he has got fantastic technique.

“You can counter-attack with a good kick from him…it worked well for England the other night.

“A few times it has nearly worked for us, people almost getting on the end of his kicks.

“It is something you can also use in general play when you are building things up.

“Rather than a centre-half having to play the ball under pressure, we can go back to the keeper, who can start play with a perfect pass.”

Higher up the pitch, there could be a start for Jordan Hugill in the PNE attack.

Hugill yesterday signed a new two-and-a-half year contract, a deal which runs until June 2018.

He was in the final year of his current deal.