Leeds still trying to better record under Grayson

Top scorer Chris Wood will lead the visitors' attack
Top scorer Chris Wood will lead the visitors' attack
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Simon Grayson is proud of his record as Leeds manager but will be doing everything possible to see Preston beat them this weekend.

The PNE boss managed Leeds for more than three years, taking the job in December 2008 and staying in post until February 2012, when he was sacked.

In that time, Grayson guided the Elland Road club to promotion from League One and then to a seventh-place finish in the Championship in the 2010/11 season.

Such a lofty position has not been matched by any of the seven managers or head coaches who have followed him.

North End and Leeds face one another on the final day of the season with one place and three points between them.

Only a Leeds win and an eight-goal swing would see the West Yorkshire outfit jump above PNE.

Grayson wants a victory in order for Preston to finish the campaign in style and to avenge a 1-0 defeat in the reverse fixture in December.

That game saw Jordan Pickford sent off for handling outside the box, a red card which was later rescinded by the FA on appeal.

“I’m looking forward to playing Leeds, like I do any game we play,” said Grayson.

“There is the obvious link with me having managed Leeds and I was pleased with what I achieved there.

“The seventh place I got has never been bettered since I left.

“When I got sacked the following season, Leeds were only three points off the 
play-offs.

“People made that decision, I had to accept it even if I didn’t agree with it – that is part of history now. Leeds are a big club and have not been getting anywhere near the expectancy levels which the supporters have.

“When they look back over the course of this season, Leeds will be thinking they have under-achieved.

“With the size of club they are, the budget they have which is probably two or three times bigger than ours, they should be striving for the top six.”

Grayson looks back on December’s game at Leeds with a sense of what might have been.

“We played well at Elland Road before Christmas but went down to 10 men when Jordan was sent off, wrongly as it turned out,” said Grayson.

“Even with 10 men we should have got a result – their goal was an own goal and we had some good chances.

“Our aim is to win the game this weekend because we want to finish a very good season on a high note.

“We are going to finish above them and finish above a number of bigger clubs who have spent a lot more money than us.”

Leeds’ visit to Deepdale is their first since March 2011.

A good patch of form, which had seen them win three on the bounce and draw 2-2 at play-off chasing Hull, ground to a halt last week with a surprise 2-1 home defeat to relegated Charlton.

Their attack will be led by top scorer Chris Wood who has netted 12 goals this season, three of them in the last four matches.

Behind him in the scoring charts is Mirco Antenucci, the Italian having nine goals to his name.

Leeds head coach Steve Evans accepts that the demand will be there from club owner Massimo Cellino next season for a higher 
finish.

Evans said. “He wants to build a stronger team and in fairness to him, some players who looked good last summer haven’t produced.

“Anywhere between four and six players will need to arrive in the summer.

“There’s no point in us signing any more ‘if, buts or maybe’ players.”