PNE striker’s double goal

Double goal: Striker Jack King is out to impress
Double goal: Striker Jack King is out to impress
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Jack King says Preston North End’s players have a double challenge in the weeks ahead.

They will be battling to put more distance between PNE and the League One relegation zone as well as looking to impress new boss Simon Grayson on an individual basis.

Grayson’s time in charge started promisingly enough with Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Swindon.

And PNE are back on the road this weekend when they visit MK Dons.

While admitting a change of managers usually brings about an element of uncertainty, the versatile King has enjoyed the first week of Grayson’s stewardship.

He played up front at Swindon, having been recalled to the side by caretaker boss John Dreyer for the win against Bournemouth the week before.

King told the Evening Post: “The fans will have seen there have been a couple of better performances lately with a deserved draw at Swindon and a deserved win over Bournemouth.

“We know what the task ahead of us is and hopefully we can keep getting the right results.

“It’s always going to be a bit difficult when you have a change of manager.

“The squad here was almost entirely assembled by Graham Westley.

“Now the new gaffer has come in and he will obviously have his own ideas.

“It’s a clean slate for us all – we’re playing for our futures and looking to be here next season.

“I think we are pushing in the right direction with the last two results. In the last few days the manager has underlined the basics of what he is about and how he likes things done.

“Over the next few weeks he will be able to get more of his ideas across.

“The training has changed – it’s shorter, sharper and more intense than it was.

“It’s been good that John Dreyer has stayed on. ‘Tumble’ is well liked by the lads and he’ll have been able to give the gaffer and Glynn Snodin more insight into the squad here.”

The postponement of PNE’s scheduled game with Oldham last night, because of the Latics’ FA Cup replay with Everton, left King and his team-mates with a clear midweek.

It enabled Grayson and his staff to embark on a couple of scouting missions.

Minds are now being focused on the MK Dons game, and it is a contest that King is looking forward to.

The 27-year-old said: “MK Dons are a bit similar to ourselves in that they were expected to be up near the top of the table this season.

“They’ve slipped a bit in terms of their league position but they are a decent passing side, just as we are.

“The game against them at our place earlier in the season wasn’t the best, with it being 0-0.

“Hopefully it will be better this time and we can come away with a good result.

“We’re playing a lot of away games at the moment, which isn’t ideal.

“But the support at Swindon was superb and it would be great if we got something similar this weekend,” added King.