Grayson: Yell PNE to glory

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Simon Grayson has every faith that his Preston North End side can get over the promotion finishing-line with the help of a yellow wall of support at Colchester tomorrow afternoon.

There will be 3,000 PNE fans in the Weston Homes Community Stadium for the Sunday lunchtime kick-off, the away section set to have a plash of colour about it.

Simon Grayson has praised the support which Preston have had this season

Simon Grayson has praised the support which Preston have had this season

Yellow replica away shirts, thousands of balloons, streamers and ticker-tape are to be the order of the day in the away section.

Grayson says that level of support will be vital as North End go in search of the win which would guarantee them automatic promotion back to the Championship.

“We are trying to do this as a group of players and staff for the supporters,” said the Preston manager.

“They have spent a lot of time on the road and plenty of money this season.

“We are taking 3,000 fans to Colchester – there will probably be more.

“If we had been given an allocation of 5,000 or 6,000, we would probably have 
sold that out. We 
have had some long trips this season, going to Gillingham and Orient on Tuesday nights – our fans have been there in their numbers.

“It doesn’t matter if I’m the manager here or it is Joe Garner playing up front – this is their club.

“They choose to support and follow Preston North End and promotion would be for them if we can do it.”

PNE go to Essex on the back of an 18-game unbeaten run in the league which started in early February.

Stretching that to 19 with a win would see them clinch the second automatic berth.

MK Dons are a point behind in third place, going into their home game against Yeovil.

Grayson acknowledges that fans will be nervous because of how close things are at the top of the table but says he has not had any butterflies.

“Personally, I’m looking forward to it, I’m not nervous at all,” he said.

“I have got a lot of trust and faith in my players.

“When you experience a couple of defeats here and there and things don’t go your way, it is difficult for a manager.

“But when you have got an opportunity like this which is in our own hands, with a group of players who are focused and full of confidence on the back of an 18-game unbeaten run, I have a lot of faith in them to go and finish the job.

“They say that you find out a lot about your players if you get a bad result.

“I look back to January when results didn’t go for us and since then we have come out on the other side.

“No one buried their head in the sand. They galvanised themselves, stuck their chests out and said, ‘Right, we have suffered a bit of criticism but we are going to take this club forward’.

“To have gone on the run we are on at this moment in time, speaks volumes for the characteristics of this squad.

“I came here to try and help this club get promoted.

“They gave me a chance to get back in the game quickly and I felt Preston had the infrastructure and everything behind the scenes to be successful.

“This is a big club – only a few years ago they were in the Championship play-offs for the Premier League.

“There have been some dark days since then but things have been going well since we came in. We now need to take that next step, win one more match this weekend.

“When we came back to 
pre-season training on July 1, our intention was to get this club promoted.

“We have spent a lot of time on the training pitch, the players have worked extremely hard and we now know it is a one-game season.”

Grayson will take his full squad to Colchester after training later today.