Grayson enjoying test against the best

Preston will seek to clip the wings of Norwich's high-flying Canaries and add another big scalp to their collection tomorrow.
Bailey Wright, Tom Clarke and Alex Baptiste may form a defensive threeBailey Wright, Tom Clarke and Alex Baptiste may form a defensive three
Bailey Wright, Tom Clarke and Alex Baptiste may form a defensive three

Having beaten Huddersfield and drawn with Brighton – both sides in the top four – and won against big-spending Aston Villa this month, second-placed Norwich are next in line at Carrow Road.

It looks the toughest test to date, with the East Anglian side just a point behind leaders Newcastle, who are opponents for PNE twice next week.

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With a six-match unbeaten run under their belts though, the Lilywhites will head to Norfolk in good heart.

North End manager Simon Grayson said: “Before each game we play at the moment, people keep asking is it the toughest yet?

“We are on a run of games against some very good teams and it is a challenge we are enjoying.

“Tomorrow we go to a tough place in Carrow Road to face a really good Norwich team which is full of Premier League players and who were in the Premier League last season.

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“They are as good a team as any going forward, with some major threats in Cameron Jerome, Wes Hoolahan, the Murphy twins, Alex Pritchard and Steven Naismith.

“Norwich are the next obstacle in our way and we have to keep doing the things which have got us going on this good run.

“The players are going there with a lot of confidence but we must keep a level head and do what we are good at.

“They will be aware of what we are all about, I believe Alan Irvine was here on Wednesday night and was telling people how well we had played.

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“When you are 3-0 up after 55 minutes against a team who had been top of the table for a long time, we must be doing something right.”

Grayson reported no fresh injuries from the Huddersfield game but it could be he tweaks the team slightly.

He has tended to favour a 3-5-2 system in away games, reverting to a flat back four at Deepdale.

In midweek, it was Tom Clarke and Bailey Wright in the middle, with Alex Baptiste and Greg Cunningham filling the full-back roles.

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Said Grayson: “For the last two or three seasons we have swapped and changed systems.

“I wouldn’t like to think that the opposition can second guess our way of playing.

“The players all know what their jobs are and can adapt to different formations.

“On Wednesday night we could have changed system during the game without having to change personnel.

“Players being versatile plays a part in our recruitment.”

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John Welsh will miss the game because of a calf injury suffered at Brighton last week.

Marnick Vermijl and Jermaine Beckford have trained with the squad all week but could be given an extra few weeks’ work before returning to match action.

North End were taking to the air to reach Norwich this afternoon, travel arrangements which Grayson is grateful for.

“Fortunately we are flying down which takes a gruelling journey away from us,” he said.

“It is a quick turnaround between games.”