PNE boss demands response

Kevin Davies made a substitute appearance at the weekend
Kevin Davies made a substitute appearance at the weekend
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Preston North End boss Simon Grayson is expecting his men to bounce back strongly this evening when they travel to Swindon Town.

PNE saw their eight-match winning run come to an end on Saturday when they were well beaten 3-0 by Rochdale at Spotland.

Although stung by the result, Grayson believes the experience of defeat on Saturday could benefit his men in the long run.

“We always analyse each performance whether we win, lose or draw,” Grayson said.

“We always try to improve and learn from the experience to make sure that when we go out the next time, we will be better than we were in the previous game.

“We have been on a great run but we are not invincible.

“There is a fine line between complacency and confidence but I don’t think there was any complacency from the players.

“I think you have got to give a lot of credit to Rochdale.

“They have showed how well they are doing this year – they are fourth in the league.

“It was a very energetic and ruthless performance by them and I think sometimes you just have to give credit to the opposition.”

With that in mind, Grayson is likely to keep faith with most of the players who were on duty at Spotland, although he could slightly alter his 
line-up.

Veteran striker Kevin Davies could come in for his first start since returning to the squad after a rib injury.

“We will analyse the energy levels of the players in training,” Grayson said. “We have a couple of knocks here and there after Saturday.

“We also like to see how the opposition play before picking a team. We have changed it around a little bit over the last few weeks to keep everybody fresh.

“You need fresh legs out there but there certainly won’t be wholesale changes to the team – if any at all.”

North End have certainly clocked up the miles over the last few weeks – tonight’s trip to Swindon will be the third successive Tuesday that they have faced a long trip south.

Grayson admits the recent schedule has been demanding but does not believe the players should feel fatigued or tired.

“I think it’s probably been demanding of the supporters because they’ve had to take days off work,” he said.

“But the players have just got on with it – they have been treated well.

“We have flown down or got trains down – we have had the best preparation possible.

“We certainly can’t use that as an excuse for the weekend.

“The players were not tired at 2pm on Saturday and even at the back end of the game, we were still going for it and trying to get back in the game.

“It wasn’t through any fatigue or tiredness that we lost at the weekend – we just did not do the basics right.”

On the injury front, striker Andy Little is close to a return but is unlikely to figure
 tonight.

“He’s making good progress but I don’t think he will be fit for the game,” Grayson said.