PNE building a platform for promotion

Jamie Jones has been ever present this season

Jamie Jones has been ever present this season

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Simon Grayson has declared himself satisfied with Preston North End’s start to the season.

With just over a third of the League One campaign gone, North End find themselves occupying an automatic promotion spot.

Out of the 16 games played so far, PNE have collected nine wins – including a run of seven successive victories.

Their record has been slightly tarnished by defeats in their previous two games.

Saturday’s disappointing 3-0 reverse by Rochdale at Spotland was followed by a narrow 1-0 loss at Swindon Town at the County Ground in midweek.

However, despite those two set-backs, Grayson has been pleased with the way his side have performed on the whole.

And he believes there is more to come, especially when the new players he has brought in over the summer begin to feel even more familiar with their surroundings.

Goalkeeper Jamie Jones, who joined from Leyton Orient, has been ever present between the sticks in the league this season.

And new signings such as Andy Little, Calum Woods and Kyel Reid have all made contributions of varying degrees.

Grayson told the Evening Post: “I think we are doing okay. We’ve got good depth to the squad and the players who have come in have all shown their capabilities..

“They have all helped and contributed to where we are in the table.

“Obviously there are still two thirds of the season to go but hopefully we can keep going and we will be somewhere near where we are now towards the final stages of the season.

“We have given ourselves a platform to build on but that is all it is at this moment in time.

“But that goes for Bristol City and all the other teams who are up there near the top of the table at the moment.

“There is still a long way to go and we know we have to keep maintaining our form and our focus.”

Meanwhile, young midfielder Alan Browne is looking forward to his first taste of the FA Cup on Monday.

North End travel to the South Coast to take on Conference South outfit Havant and Waterlooville at West Leigh Park – a match which is being screened live on BT Sport.

Although 19-year-old Browne grew up in Cork, in the Republic of Ireland, he knows all about the prestige of the FA Cup.

“It will be the first time I have played in the FA Cup,” he said.

“Obviously, it’s a massive competition. I am really looking forward to playing in it. We want to go far in the competition and myself and the rest of the lads will be doing our very best on Monday.

“We will be going into the game as the favourites and I think everybody likes to see an upset in these cup games

“We have got to go there and punish them early on and come away with the win.

“The main thing is not to get ahead of ourselves and go into the game thinking they are in the Conference South and won’t be up for it. I am sure they will be well up for it and we will have to be at our best.”