PNE boss targets a treble

Bailey Wright will have a groin injury assessed
Bailey Wright will have a groin injury assessed
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Simon Grayson is looking for his Preston North End side to make it a hat-trick of away-day successes in tonight’s visit to Doncaster.

The Lilywhites have beaten Rochdale and Scunthorpe in the past week, and victory at the Keepmoat Stadium (7.45pm) would maintain a pleasing start to the campaign.

Grayson was delighted with the manner of performance in the 4-0 win at Scunthorpe at the weekend and says similar high standards need to be on display this evening.

“We got a good result in the cup last week and then did really well at Scunthorpe,” Grayson told the Evening Post.

“When you have two league games away in the space of a few days, you go into the week thinking that bringing back four points would be pleasing.

“If we can bring back six points that would be very pleasing indeed.

“We face a Doncaster side who will be looking for a quick reaction from their home defeat to Port Vale at the weekend.

“I know Paul Dickov really well and he will have them fired up.

“Doncaster have some good, experienced players and if anything, we will have to be better than we were on Saturday. If we slip anywhere below those standards then we won’t get the result we want.”

PNE will run fitness checks over Andy Little, Bailey Wright and Paul Gallagher ahead of the trip to Yorkshire.

Little missed out at Scunthorpe with a muscle strain, while Wright and Gallagher were both substituted during the second half with groin injuries.

Said Grayson: “It was more of a precautionary measure that Bailey and Gally came off.

“We were 3-0 up at the time and in a position when we did not have to take any risks.

“It was good that we were able to get other players a little bit of game time too.

“Had we only been 1-0 up we would have kept both lads on the pitch.”

If Wright and Gallagher are passed fit, Grayson is likely to stick with the side which won at the weekend.

And he is also set to line them up in the 4-3-3 system which he has favoured to date.

Grayson said: “I’m always analysing the systems which best suit our players and will benefit the club.

“Brentford and Wolves both used a 4-3-3 system last season and got promoted.

“We have got the energy from the two young kids in the middle of the park, coupled with Neil Kilkenny, Jack King, John Welsh or Keith Keane just behind them.

“The front three have got licence to go where they want but know that they still have a job to do when we haven’t got the ball.

“Some people seem to think that we have to play with two up front but you look at the modern-day game and there are so many systems in place.

“If you have other people filling in the areas where another striker might be, you are not then being hindered by having one less in the middle of the pitch.”

Meanwhile, Kyel Reid will step up his comeback from knee surgery in a behind-closed-doors friendly against Rangers Under-20s today.