Preston North End boss Simon Grayson has urged his players to carry their FA Cup form into the league and give a bumper Deepdale attendance plenty to shout about against Coventry City tomorrow
With supporters buying tickets for the visit of the Sky Blues guaranteed a seat for the cup tie with Manchester United, a crowd around the 16,000 mark is anticipated.
The Lilywhites will be chasing a first League One victory since Boxing Day and Grayson believes a repeat of the performance put in at Sheffield United in midweek would deliver three points.
Grayson said: “We played so well on Tuesday night – it was back to the standard of maybe a couple of months ago when we were attacking teams and playing with a real intensity. It was probably as good a performance as we have had nearly all season.
“To dominate a good side like Sheffield United almost from start to finish is massive credit to our players.
“We need to take that into the game against Coventry, hopefully get three points and then carry that into Chesterfield on Tuesday night.
“Winning breeds confidence and obviously our confidence has taken a knock in the past month.
“It is well known that players can lose confidence quicker than they gather it back but how we played in midweek can be seen as a big boost.”
Although Grayson wants Preston to keep their focus on the league over the next few days, he acknowledges that the United clash is wonderful motivation.
He said: “It is human nature that the players will think at times about the Manchester United game.
“The players who won the replay will have a great chance of keeping the shirt for tomorrow and they will be thinking that more good results can keep them in the side.
“There is no getting away from the fact that United is a massive tie for us in terms of raising the profile of the club and for the players themselves.
“It is Coventry and Chesterfield first though, two big league games.
“We had a meeting yesterday at the training ground with the players to discuss tickets and other things.
“That has all been put to bed now and the focus is on picking up league points. If players don’t perform well, they won’t be playing against United.”
Grayson will have Joe Garner on the bench again tomorrow following his brief comeback as a substitute at Bramall Lane.
Andy Little also comes back into contention after a month out with a groin strain.
With regards to Garner’s situation, Grayson said: “We didn’t rush Joe back, he’s had two weeks training so he was ready for Sheffield United.
“You could compare him with Daniel Sturridge’s situation at Liverpool where he is coming on in games instead of starting them.
“I think that is where it will be until Joe’s had another week’s training and maybe another bounce game.”