Deepdale holds key for PNE

Joe Garner (above) set  up Daniel Johnson's goal against Burnley
Joe Garner (above) set up Daniel Johnson's goal against Burnley
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Preston North End will have their sights set on some better home form over the next few days after a good time on the road.

They have games against Reading and Birmingham City coming up at Deepdale, the aim being to get back to winning ways in front of the home faithful.

Simon Grayson’s men go into the Reading clash on the back of Saturday’s derby win at Burnley and a 1-1 draw with Fulham at Craven Cottage the week before.

In fact, they are unbeaten in five games on their travels, a run which goes back to October.

Thirteen points have been collected from away games, with eight gathered at Deepdale.

Lilywhites manager Grayson said: “We will take the four points from a possible six which we got at Fulham and Burnley, then move on.

“The Championship is relentless and you cannot think you have achieved anything by a couple of victories here and there.

“But the recent results have given us a platform to go on and try and collect more points.

“It was good to get the win at Burnley because we had been playing well before that without quite getting what we deserved.

“We have been looking to turn draws into wins and now we want to add to what we did against Burnley.

“Coming up, we have Reading and Birmingham at home, then it is Leeds away.

“After that we are into the Christmas games which is always an exciting period.”

The visit of Reading this weekend sees North End up against another club who have dispensed with their manager or head coach.

QPR, Blackburn and Fulham all had a change in the dug-out before facing PNE.

Reading sacked Steve Clarke on Friday morning following a 1-0 home defeat to QPR the night before.

Clarke’s position had looked perilous ever since he chose to talk with Fulham about their vacancy, although subsequently he turned a move to Craven Cottage down.

Said Grayson: “We seem to be in a pattern of facing clubs who have changed manager or are in the process of doing.

“When Reading come here, that will be four out of five games when it has happened.

“It just shows what the Championship is all about.”

Grayson, meanwhile, has given Joe Garner a pat on the back for his role in setting up Daniel Johnson for the second goal against Burnley.

He said: “It was very good counter-attacking play, something we had worked on because we knew we would get space to play in.

“Joe did well and had the vision to pick DJ out, who finished it ever so well.

“I am sure Joe would have been desperate to shoot for goal himself, but it was a nice ball back for DJ.

“We had said to DJ before the game that he was due a goal and ultimately he came up with the goods.”