Business as usual says PNE boss

Paul Gallagher tangles with Swindon substitute Tom Smith
Paul Gallagher tangles with Swindon substitute Tom Smith
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Preston North End manager Simon Grayson is going ‘same again’ in terms of preparation for Sunday’s huge clash with Colchester.

Victory in Essex would see the Lilywhites promoted to the Championship, no matter how rivals MK Dons get on against Yeovil Town.

Grayson wants an air of normality in the build-up this week, the squad having a mixture of training and rest in order to keep them in the best shape possible.

“We won’t change anything – our arrangements will be the same as normal,” Grayson told the Evening Post.

“This week we will do all our work, enjoy it and I will thrive on the experience of what I have done as a manager.

“The players should also embrace the situation that they only have to win one football match to get promotion at the end of a gruelling season.

“They’ve had a couple of days off and now we will work on the recovery and tactical side of the game for Sunday.

“We will go down there with the confidence and belief that we can finish the job.”

North End’s 3,000 ticket allocation for the West Homes Community Stadium clash, which is being shown live on Sky TV, sold out yesterday morning.

Only a couple of hundred seats remained after the weekend, with those quickly snaffled up by early comers to the ticket office.

Grayson says the away support can play a vital role in the big finale.

“The atmosphere at the Swindon game on Saturday was fantastic and the fans will no doubt be in good voice at Colchester,” he said.

“All season, the away support has been superb and we are so grateful for that.”

Grayson has a fully-fit squad at his disposal, Joe Garner, Jermaine Beckford and John Welsh all getting a well-deserved breather in the latter stages of the Swindon match.

“Joe coming off was really to see him get the standing ovation which he deserved,” said Grayson.

“It was the same with John and Jermaine, while it was nice to get the three lads on from the bench.”

Hat-trick hero Garner, whose treble against Swindon took his tally to the season for 26 goals, has given a pat on the back to Paul Gallagher for his regular supply of assists.

His first two goals on Saturday came from Gallagher deliveries. Garner said: “I know that if I can get into positions then he will pick me out and that is what he does on a regular basis.

“Gally is a top player and it is a pleasure to play with him.”

Sunday’s clash is one which Garner is looking forward to, the striker saying Preston’s 18-game unbeaten run should fill them with confidence.

“I think we are a good side – we are up there for a reason,” said Garner.

“We are confident that we can beat anyone in the league but we will go into the game on Sunday and show Colchester a lot of respect.

“They are in a fight themselves and they will want the points as much as us but we know if we can play well, we can beat anyone.”

Colchester are in action this evening – they are at home to Swindon Town.