PNE boss urges fans to keep the faith

Chris Humphrey
Chris Humphrey
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Simon Grayson is firmly of the belief that his Preston North End players can put a difficult week behind them and get back in tune against Crawley Town at Deepdale tomorrow.

The Lilywhites surrendered their unbeaten league run at Walsall and then drew 3-3 with Chesterfield on Tuesday night, having led 3-0.

Much flak has flown the way of Grayson and his team from some supporters since but the PNE boss says his squad are not feeling sorry for themselves by any stretch.

Grayson said: “I have so much faith and trust in the players.

“Seven games into a 46-game season, I certainly believe we will be up there come the end of the season.

“Sometimes those incidents can trigger and galvanise the group. We are not going to sulk and feel sorry for ourselves.

“We have been out on the training pitch, got our work done and worked hard in a bid to get our rewards.

“It is a good group here and this club has had a lot of positivity over the last 18 months.

“I’m not going to give up on where we have taken this club, I feel a lot of connection with the club and have got a good affinity with the supporters.

“We are going in the right direction.

“When things are not going your way it is the manager who takes the blame and that comes with the territory.

“We have not got any given right to win a game of football unless we perform to the best of our abililty.

“I do understand where the supporters are coming from – they have seen us concede a lot of goals in the last six or seven months. We are working extremely hard to solve any problems.

“We know where we are going and a lot of good times are ahead.”

Grayson is of the view that the dip of the last week should not cloud the progress he thinks has been made.

He wants more of what the team produced in the first half-hour against Chesterfield and wants that stretching over the full 90 minutes when Crawley pay their visit.

“In the first part of the game on Tuesday night I got a reaction from the players to the Walsall defeat,” said Grayson.

“Now I will be looking for a reaction tomorrow. We all need to stick together. This club is going to go forward, no danger about that.”

Grayson is likely to be able to include Chris Humphrey in his plans tomorrow after injury forced the winger to miss the Chesterfield game.

Callum Robinson will be pushing for a start after being a second-half substitute in midweek following his arrival on loan from Aston Villa.

Andy Little is absent with a muscle tear and Jordan Hugill is suspended.

But Hugill’s absence will stretch beyond his three-game ban having undergone knee surgery yesterday.

Grayson said: “Jordan fell awkwardly in the first half at Walsall. At half-time he was struggling a bit but wanted to carry on. Then he got sent off.

“He had a scan on Monday and went in to have some work done yesterday.”