PNE boss in warning

Alan Browne has completed a suspension for his red card at Newcastle
Alan Browne has completed a suspension for his red card at Newcastle
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Preston manager Simon Grayson says he takes little notice of the ‘favourites’ tag ahead of matches.

The Lilywhites will be well backed to win tomorrow’s clash with Burton at Deepdale, the Brewers having won just one of their last six games.

But with that expectation comes a note of caution from Grayson, who points out that his North End side have caused a few upsets this season against some of the Championship’s leading lights.

“Being favourites doesn’t mean anything, it doesn’t bother me if we start as the favourites for a game or not,” said Grayson.

“We weren’t favourites when we played Brighton, Huddersfield, Norwich, Aston Villa and Newcastle, yet we played well in those games and picked up a lot of points.

“Whoever our opponents are, we have to play with an intensity, pass the ball well, be creative and make sure we keep a clean sheet.

“As a group, we know what we need to do, if there is an expectation we have to accept that and deal with it.

“The other week we went to Rotherham when there was a lot of expectation on us and we put in a really professional performance.

“We have to do that again and it will be a tough game, make no mistake about that.

“Burton have some key experienced players who we know can be a threat.

“We won’t be taking this game lightly, we don’t take any of our opponents lightly.”

Grayson has a couple of selection issues for Burton’s visit.

Paul Gallagher is doubtful with a calf strain which he was carrying going into the Wolves game and felt again in the second half.

If he is ruled out, it could open the door for a return to the side for Alan Browne.

The Irishman is back after completing a three-match ban for his red card in the League Cup defeat against Newcastle last month.

Marnick Vermijl will be pushing for a start after three impressive performances as a substitute recently.

Grayson said: “Alan Browne is back from his ban.

“If we are without Gally, it gives us another option in midfield, although a slightly different option.

“We will give Gally every chance to be fit and take things from there.”

This is the first meeting between North End and Burton – the Brewers will become the 109th club to play a league game at Deepdale.

Grayson’s men head into the weekend in 11th place, four points off Norwich who occupy the last play-off slot.

Bearing in mind the poor start to the campaign, it is a position he is content with but is looking higher.

“After six games, I would have taken us being here in November,” said Grayson.

“The group had belief in themselves and we had belief in them.

“We cannot take our foot off the gas, we’ve had a tough week on the training ground working on a few things.”