PNE boss demands a better show in Roses battle

Jermaine Beckford was a half-time substitute against Cardiff in midweek
Jermaine Beckford was a half-time substitute against Cardiff in midweek
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Simon Grayson wants to see Preston pack a bigger punch at Barnsley tomorrow after admitting they had not ‘laid a glove’ on Cardiff in midweek.

The manner of defeat in Wales was Grayson’s major disappointment and the PNE boss is demanding far better at Oakwell.

“It was not as if it was an atrocious performance, it was just that we had set ourselves higher standards in recent weeks,” said Grayson.

“I didn’t think Cardiff were fantastic and they didn’t have to be to win the game – that was disappointing.

“When I talk to managers after a match, the one thing they tend to say is that they knew they would get a tough game from us.

“Neil Warnock said that to me beforehand but I’m sure he wasn’t thinking it afterwards.

“We have been successful of late by being aggressive in our approach without the ball and stopping the opposition team playing.

“Whether it was Brighton in the league, Arsenal in the FA Cup or someone in another part of the division, we did it.

“When we had the ball at Cardiff, we were a bit too slow to move it and didn’t play with any purpose.

“As a team we were a bit too narrow, our wingers didn’t get out wide like Cardiff’s two wingers did.

“We didn’t lay a glove on them and we have to be much better at Barnsley.”

Grayson hinted at a change or two for the visit to South Yorkshire in order to give the team some freshness.

He went 4-4-1-1 at Cardiff, with Aiden McGeady behind striker Jordan Hugill.

That changed at half-time to 4-4-2, Jermaine Beckford coming off the bench to join Hugill up front – McGeady switching out wide.

It could be that Beckford is considered for his first start since August, although he did not make a big impact in the Cardiff game.

Said Grayson: “We might freshen things up given that it is the second away game in a few days.

“There are players in the squad who have been doing well in training and pushing for their chance.”

Marnick Vermijl will be back in contention after missing the Cardiff trip.

The Belgian right-back is nursing a hernia which might eventually need surgery.

But whether Vermijl will dislodge Tyias Browning, who had a solid debut in midweek, remains to be seen.

Grayson said: “With the quick turnaround between Saturday and Tuesday, it was going to be hard for Marnick.

“He trained in the gym in the early part of the week and was back training with the squad yesterday.

“Marnick will be back in consideration but I thought Tyias did well – it was a strong and composed performance.”