Simon Grayson has first-hand knowledge of the quality among Preston North End’s current crop of players.
The new Preston manager remembers well the time he arrived at Deepdale earlier in the season as Huddersfield manager – and left with his tail firmly between his legs.
North End dumped the Terriers, who were newly-promoted to the Championship, out of the Capital One Cup in the opening week of the season.
Goals from Jack King and Nicky Wroe handed PNE a convincing 2-0 victory – and it left a lasting impression on Grayson.
It was a performance which indicated to the ex-Blackpool and Leeds United manager that a complete overhaul of the squad – similar to the one which previous boss Graham Westley undertook last summer – is not required.
He said: “I was on the end of a defeat by Preston at Deepdale in the early part of the season so I know what the team is capable of.
“At the time, I thought they were a strong, powerful team with a lot of good footballers, but for whatever reason have not performed on a consistent basis this season – hence why a new manager has come in.
“Looking at the squad, there are a lot of players under contract until next year – so there are not many who are out of contract.
“I will be giving all the players an opportunity to impress. There are a lot of good players here, and it’s not like we have got a squad of 30 where you can chop and change it.
“We are going to pick up injuries and suspensions from now until the end of the season so everyone will get a chance.
“Are the players playing for their futures?
“I suppose when a new manager comes in, they are. At some point in the future, some players will leave and new players will come in – that’s just the nature of football in general.
“But I don’t think a major overhaul of the squad is needed.
“It needs tinkering with here and there but I think it’s all about making the best of what is at your disposal, especially in this day and age because you can’t be going out and spending loads of money on new players.
“We have got to use our coaching skills and man-management skills to get the best out of the current group of players.
“It’s our job to bring the best out of these players and make them feel comfortable in what they are doing.”