PNE pair shortlisted for awards

Preston manager Simon Grayson arriving at Craven Cottage last weekend
Preston manager Simon Grayson arriving at Craven Cottage last weekend
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Simon Grayson and Aiden McGeady are in the running for awards in recognition of Preston’s form last month.

Lilywhites boss Grayson is on the shortlist for the Sky Bet EFL manager of the month gong, with winger McGeady nominated for the player of the month honour.

The winners in all of the divisions will be announced tomorrow morning.

North End were unbeaten in February, with three wins and two draws.

They beat Brentford 4-2, Birmingham 2-1 and QPR 2-1 at Deepdale, together with goalless draws at Barnsley and Wigan.

McGeady scored twice in the Brentford game and once against QPR, and was also the supply line for others.

“Nominations like this are a recognition of what the club has been doing for the last few weeks and months,” Grayson said.

“It is nice for Aiden and myself to be nominated but it is down to the team and what they have done for both of us.

“In the Championship you are competing against some fantastic managers and players.

“When you are in the top half of the Championship, people should be taking notice of you – we are there on merit.

“We are doing well, getting results and are a decent team with and without the ball.

“Teams below us have spent a lot more money and have bigger names.”

Grayson has Huddersfield Town boss David Wagner, Slavisa Jokanovic at Fulham and Newcastle’s Rafa Benitez for competition in the managerial award.

In shortlisting Grayson, awards sponsors Sky Bet said: “It was an unbeaten month for his team as they closed in on the play-off places with three wins and two draws from five games. His understated management continues to belie the fluency of his side, particularly at Deepdale.”

Competition for McGeady comes from Huddersfield front man Izzy Brown, 
Jota at Brentford and Cardiff City striker Kenneth 
Zohere.

“February was the month in which he found his feet in English football,” said Sky Bet in nominating McGeady.

“Superbly gifted and able to drift past players at will, Aiden scored three fine individual goals – two against Brentford – and contributed four assists as well.”

The North End squad were back at Springfields yesterday for a recovery session after Tuesday night’s 1-1 draw with Derby and to prepare for the visit of Reading to Deepdale on Saturday.

Aside from the usual knocks, Grayson reported a clean bill of health from the Pride Park clash, one which saw Tom Barkhuizen score a 95th-minute equaliser against the Rams.