Brewers following PNE’s pattern says Grayson

Ex-Preston striker Stuart Beavon in action for Burton
Ex-Preston striker Stuart Beavon in action for Burton
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Simon Grayson can see similarities between what his Preston side experienced last season and the run Burton are on at the moment.

Albion arrive at Deepdale having scored only two goals in their last six games.

Those two goals delivered a 2-0 win over Birmingham but otherwise it has been tough going in and around the box.

Last season, North End had spells of being goal-shy, and often had to rely on defensive solidity to build-up the points.

Grayson said: “I think Burton are adjusting to the division at the moment.

“They made a good start and scored goals.

“Over the last few weeks, Nigel Clough has said they have been a bit disappointed not to have got a better return from how they have played.

“We watched them against Reading last week and before that at Leeds, and they were in both games.

“They’ve not been taking their chances and that is the biggest difference when you get promoted from League One into the Championship.

“We found that last year and a bit at the start of this season.

“The difference is that the top teams take their chances and in this division you don’t tend to get as many chances as in the league below.”

Burton had their shooting boots polished up at the start of the campaign, scoring 12 goals in their first five league and cup games.

However, they started to dry up last month.

Brewers manager Clough said: “When you’re a striker and you’re scoring, you think you’re going to score every time you go on the pitch.

“When you’re not scoring and one drops to you, it doesn’t become natural.

“When you are scoring, you just do things without thinking.

“All of a sudden 
(when you’re not), you take half-a-second to think about it and you make the wrong decision.”

Former North End striker Stuart Beavon says the goal shortage is something which the Burton front line is looking to put right.

“We want to win games, it’s our job up front to score the goals,” said Beavon.

“If we’re not scoring and the lads at the back are trying their best as well, it’s just errors that have cost us at both ends.

“You very rarely get a one-on-one or a clear-cut chance in the Championship.

“But the ball has fallen for us a couple of times, it’s just we weren’t quick enough in terms of being there.”

Clough, in his second stint in charge of Burton, has been impressed with North End’s recent form as he prepares to bring his side to Lancashire.

“Preston are on a great run at the minute, they didn’t start very well but they’ve come back and done remarkably well.

“They’re a good settled side that have been together a few seasons, they keep building without spending too much money.

“I think Preston are a good example for us of how to not spend much money but still be very competitive.

“They seem to be playing more football this season from last, it’s a matter of time before they knock on the door of the top half, even the play-offs.”

Australian midfielder Jackson Irvine is Burton’s top scorer with five league goals.

Wing-back pair Lloyd Dyer and Lucas Atkins have netted three apiece.

Jamie Ward will miss the game, the striker on loan from Nottingham Forest having broken his wrist.