PNE boss wins award

Simon Grayson with the Sky Bet League One manager of the month award for October

Simon Grayson with the Sky Bet League One manager of the month award for October

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The so-called jinx of the Sky Bet manager of the month award should not now be an issue for Preston North End’s Simon Grayson.

The Deepdale boss was this morning named League One’s top manager for October.

After winning every one of the six games North End played last month, the PNE boss was a sure-fire certainty to win the gong.

Many managers feel nervous about receiving the award, believing there is a curse attached to it which brings bad luck.

Having registered a perfect record in October, North End have begun the new month in total contrast – losing their first two games.

Grayson believes he has already got the ‘curse’ of the award out of the way – which should bode well for Monday night’s trip to Conference South outfit Havant and Waterlooville in the FA Cup first round.

“We have had a fantastic month,” Grayson said.

“The players have been out on the pitch doing the business.

“To win the number of game on the trot which we did, it’s been a good period of time for us.

“People talk about the curse of the manager of the month award...well, hopefully that has gone already with the defeats to Swindon and Rochdale this week.”

While thrilled to win the award, Grayson was keen to deflect any praise towards his players.

“The players deserve it,” he said. “They have worked extremely hard and executed game plans that we have gone with.

“Obviously, it’s the players who have got us to where we are in the league so they do deserve a lot of credit.

“But it’s the staff as well and everybody connected with the club who do deserve some plaudits.

“It’s a nice accolade to win and sometimes you will get other managers congratulating you, sometimes you might get a bit of jealousy from others who think they should have won it.

“It’s always nice when other managers find the time to ring or text you but the bigger picture is that we would like to be winning something bigger at the end of the season.”

Meanwhile, Grayson is relieved that the game against Havant and Waterlooville is taking place on Monday night, due to it being screened live on BT Sport.

While sympathetic to the plight of the club’s supporters, who face another long away trip on a weekday night, Grayson believes the extra 48 hours will be of great benefit to his players.

They have been faced with a demanding schedule of four away games in their last five outings, including long trips to Gillingham, Leyton Orient and Swindon Town on consecutive Tuesday nights.

“It has been a tough time,” Grayson said. “I think we arrived back at 3am from Swindon, as opposed to 4am the week before against Leyton Orient.

“We’ve had to recover quickly and I think it’s good that our next game is on Monday night, which gives us a few more days to freshen the players up both physically and mentally.”