PNE boss wants to pile pressure on top two

Rallying cry Simon Grayson
Rallying cry Simon Grayson
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Preston North End manager Simon Grayson has urged his team to keep applying pressure to the teams at the top of League One.

North End welcome fellow promotion chasers Rotherham United to Deepdale tonight knowing they are still not out of the race for automatic promotion.

Although seven points separate PNE from leaders Leyton Orient and second-placed Wolves, Grayson has still not given up hope of going straight up, with 14 games of the season remaining.

“All we want to do is win as many games as we possibly can,” said Grayson.

“We want to try to keep the pressure on the teams above us because if they slip up then we have got a chance.

“We also want to keep the teams below away from us and cement that play-off place if that’s what we end up having to do.

“It’s the old cliche but we’ll just approach each game as it comes in a positive manner and hopefully we can keep doing well and performing to the level that we have done recently.”

Tonight, North End have the opportunity to put some clear daylight between themselves and the Millers, who are directly below them in the table.

However, a win for Steve Evans’ men will see them move above North End on goal difference, with a game in hand.

Rotherham are the form side in the division, having won six and drawn one of their last seven games.

They are particularly strong on the road and have collected 10 wins and only three defeats from 15 away games this season.

“They have had a really good season,” Grayson said.

“You always get maybe two of the teams who have come up from the division below who have the momentum carried forward.

“Sometimes they slip away but sometimes one of them will stay in amongst the play-offs.

“I have seen it many times in this division and they have done that.

“They are a strong, powerful unit who have bought well in the January transfer window.

“They have a manager who works the players very hard. They keep going until the end – they won in the last minute on Saturday.

“We have got a really tough game but if we can implement our own ideas and beliefs, then we have got a good chance of winning.”

Grayson is hoping to welcome back skipper John Welsh and defender Scott Wiseman to his squad this evening.

Both missed Saturday’s 2-1 win at Colchester United with injuries.

Welsh is struggling with his knee, while Wiseman had a groin problem.

Grayson said: “Scott trained yesterday morning and we will give John as much opportunity to be fit for the game.

“We have got a few other little niggles from Saturday but hopefully we have enough good and fit players to go and win the game tonight.”