Consistency is the key says PNE boss

Simon Makienok bagged a hat-trick at Bournemouth in midweek

Simon Makienok bagged a hat-trick at Bournemouth in midweek

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Simon Grayson is targeting consistency from his Preston team as they prepare for their first derby of the campaign against Wigan in front of the Sky TV cameras tonight.

Results this season have been up and down with PNE yet to work up a head of steam.

Grayson has seen enough promise from his side, with Tuesday night’s 3-2 victory at Bournemouth a point in case.

But he wants North End’s form to match that promise on a more regular basis.

“Last season, the key thing to how well we did was a lot of consistency,” said Lilywhites boss Grayson.

“We would go on runs of six or seven matches unbeaten and we need to get that back into our game.

“As a team, we need to be hard to beat, while being ruthless going forward to make sure we win games.

“If we can do that, we will accumulate the points to move us up the table.”

Getting the better of Wigan would be a step towards that search for consistency.

The Sky Sports cameras will be at Deepdale for the derby clash (7.45pm), this a first televised appearance of the season for either side.

Grayson’s planning for the game started last week, as he took the decision then to make wholesale changes for the Bournemouth trip.

He made 10 changes in the end, those going into the team performing excellently and beating their top-flight hosts.

The squad went to and from the south coast by plane, cutting down on the travelling time, that hopefully being of benefit tonight in terms of freshness.

Grayson has big decision to make in terms of team selection. How many of Tuesday’s side will feature this evening will be of keen interest to fans. Some did their chances of inclusion no harm, the obvious stand-out being hat-trick hero Simon Makienok.

Said Grayson: “We brought Simon here because he was different to what we had got.

“Anyone who is 6ft 7ins is going to be handful but he has also got good feet and brings people into the game.

“He’s had a stop-start time but he has done himself no harm with the three goals the other night.

“His all-round contribution was good and Bournemouth’s defenders knew they had been in a game.

“Simon has been patient and got his chance, just like Jordan Hugill did the other week.

“Other players who played on Tuesday night have had to wait patiently.

“We will look carefully about how many from the Bournemouth game play against Wigan.

“A lot of them played for 120 minutes which can take a lot out of you.

“We will see the bigger picture and look at where the energy levels are at.

“But there were some strong individual performances on Tuesday night and they have done themselves no harm.”

Tommy Spurr and Liam Grimshaw returned to training on Wednesday after flu had kept the pair sidelined.

Grayson said: “They had a severe bout of flu which knocked it out of them for four or five days. They won’t be ready for tonight but they’ve done some work in the gym.”