Carry on winning says PNE boss

PNE winger Daryl Horgan will be hoping to be fit to face QPR tomorrow
PNE winger Daryl Horgan will be hoping to be fit to face QPR tomorrow
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Simon Grayson is targeting a winning run from Preston to carry them up the table and into play-off contention.

A consistent winning run has been the missing link for PNE boss Grayson this season.

North End, who host Queens Park Rangers at Deepdale tomorrow, have not strung more than two league victories together.

Three times they have won two on the bounce in the Championship.

PNE beat Huddersfield and Norwich in October, then last month Burton and Brighton were put to the sword.

More recently, they had back-to-back victories over Brentford and Birmingham.

The October wins formed part of a six-game unbeaten run which was punctuated with a couple of draws.

North End are currently unbeaten in four matches, goalless draws at Barnsley and Wigan sandwiching the Brentford and Birmingham victories.

“We are progressing in the right manner – we’ve only had four defeats in 25 games, which is very encouraging,” said Grayson.

“A slight disappointment is that we have been a bit short in terms of putting four, five or six wins together on the bounce, which some other teams have done.

“Doing that can catapult you up the division.

“We have tended to have a couple of wins and then drawn or lost a game, before going on another little run.

“For whatever reason, we have not been able to put four or five wins together.

“It’s the Championship, it’s a tough division and putting a run together is something we will try to do.

“We have got 13 games to go, 13 big games and we’ve got to try and win as many of them as possible.”

While the Lilywhites sit nine points shy of the top six, Grayson has not given up on reducing the gap.

Seven of the remaining 13 games are against sides above or just below them.

“We’ve got to win three games more than the team in sixth place,” said Grayson.

“It is something which is achievable – you never give that up.

“We have got fixtures to come against Newcastle, Leeds, Huddersfield, Fulham, Reading, Norwich and Derby, all teams above us or in and around us in the table.”

After naming the same side for three games running, it might be that injuries force changes on Grayson.

Several players collected knocks at Wigan last week, winger Daryl Horgan coming off in the latter stages.

Greg Cunningham got a kick on the top of his foot and played the latter stages through gritted teeth.

Paul Gallagher comes back into contention after three games out with a thigh strain.