‘Show Magpies what we’re made of’ demands Grayson

Simon Grayson knows his PNE players will have to improve after three defeats on the spin
Simon Grayson knows his PNE players will have to improve after three defeats on the spin
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Simon Grayson says Preston will go to Newcastle with no fear despite their 6-0 defeat earlier in the season.

PNE face the Magpies on Monday night at St James’ Park, the venue for their EFL Cup hammering six months ago.

Four days later at Deepdale, the sides fought out a much closer contest in the league, Newcastle winning 2-1.

North End boss Grayson wants to see more of the traits from that home clash in order to give Rafa Benitez’s men a run for their money in front of the Sky cameras.

“Newcastle didn’t see the best of us by a long stretch at their place,” said Grayson.

“They saw the best of us when we played them at home because we gave them a very good game.

“I thought Newcastle were fortunate to get something out of the game, never mind three points.

“Up there in the cup, the game hinged on Alan Browne getting sent off.

“It is tough enough to play Newcastle with 11 men, so it was difficult playing with 10 men for so long.

“We also rested a lot of the first-team players, so I’m not going to read too much into that performance or result.

“Saying that, we do have to be better than we have been for the last three games.”

After three defeats on the bounce put paid to Preston’s play-off hopes, Grayson hopes the week’s break between games can see them re-group.

He gave the squad two days off this week, and they came back in training on Thursday.

Said Grayson: “We had a meeting with the players on Thursday morning.

“We told them that if we don’t do the basics right – with and without the ball – then St James’ Park can be a difficult place to play.

“If we do the right things, we can be a major threat to anybody in this division as we have proved with some good results this season.

“We have taken four points from Brighton, who have just been promoted.

“I think we have had a fantastic season, we’ve played some fantastic stuff.

“We have scored more goals than we did last season in a campaign when the level of football in the Championship has been far greater than it was before.”

Grayson’s squad is stretched for the trip to Tyneside, suspensions for Ben Pearson and Alex Baptiste adding to season-ending injuries to Tom Clarke and Greg Cunningham.

But he will be able to add Tyias Browning to the group who head north, the defender back in the frame after being treated for a knee injury by parent club Everton for the last two months.

Said Grayson: “We’ve been hit in particular in defence, while Ben Pearson is out too.

“Remember we’ve been without Tyias for a while too, he was part of a group which had been doing well before his injury.

“Tyias has trained with us this week,. We had an in-house game on Thursday morning which gave us the opportunity to get some 11-a-side football into him.

“He is going to be close to being involved.”