Team spirit is the best, says Preston North End boss

PNE players celebrate the 2-0 victory over Leyton Orient

PNE players celebrate the 2-0 victory over Leyton Orient

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Simon Grayson believes the team spirit and togetherness of his buoyant PNE squad is up there with the best he had worked with as a manager.

The Lilywhites made it eight victories on the bounce with a 2-0 success over Leyton Orient at Brisbane Road last night.

Seven of those wins have come in the league and this latest one moved them to within two points of leaders Bristol City.

PNE boss Grayson felt a ‘gritty’ performance to see off Orient underlined the belief and determination which his players have to succeed.

The goals came from Callum Robinson and Paul Huntington, and in between Jamie Jones pulled off a superb double save to prevent his former side from pulling level. Grayson said: “This squad has got fantastic belief and desire to win football matches.

“It is probably one of the best groups I have worked with in terms of the unity within the club.

“There are no egos among them, they all fighting for each other and if they are not in the team they just want to see the best for the club.

“That is a fantastic trait.

“We are not getting carried away because of where we are in the league and what we have done.

“But we will keep working hard and striving towards where we want to get to.

“There is a long way to go but the lads have momentum and belief they can win any game.

“There is a real togetherness about them.

“There are different qualities at the different clubs I’ve had, but all round this is a fantastic group to work with.

“When I recruit players I like to have good characters who I think first and foremost have the right work ethic.

“Then I ask whether they can they fit into the dressing room and do they have the quality to fit into the play we play?

“People might think you see a good player and just go out and sign him.

“But sometimes you get a feeling that a player, however good he is, isn’t going to fit into your dressing room, so you don’t go for him.”

North End were backed by 771 travelling fans who braved the London traffic to reach Brisbane Road.

Grayson praised them for their support and was pleased to send them home with three points to celebrate.

He said: “It was a really professional performance.

“We knew we were going to be playing against a team with some really good players and we had to be stand up and be counted.

“”We had to made sure we played our own game, win the battles and get a chance to play.

“I thought we controlled it for long spells, although we were grateful to our goalkeeper for making great saves at vital times.

“Callum will remember his goal for the rest of his career with it being his first, while Hunts is loving his Tuesday nights away at the moment! We always knew we would get chances to score because of the quality in the team and I’m just delighted to get another clean sheet, three points and to send our supporters home again happy.

“Last week at Gillingham there were more than 200 of them and this time nearly 800 which is fantastic for a Tuesday night

“They sang their hearts out. It is a two-way thing –we give them something to sing about but they really inspired the team.”

Meanwhile, North End will travel to Havant and Waterlooville in the first round of the FA Cup after the Conference South side beat Canvey Island 3-0 in a replay last night.

The tie is to be played over the weekend of November 7-10.