Grayson pleased with success of formation switch

Simon Grayson felt a half-time tactical change worked in Preston North End's favour as they bounced back to earn a draw against Nottingham Forest at Deepdale.

Sunday, 2nd April 2017, 3:38 pm
Updated Saturday, 8th April 2017, 10:18 pm
Simon Grayson

Trailing to a first-half goal from Britt Assombalonga, the Lilywhites made a double change at the interval and also switched formation.

Callum Robinson and Alex Baptiste came on for Daryl Horgan and Andy Boyle, with PNE moving into a 3-4-1-2.

North End boss Grayson said: “We went with a 4-4-2 to start with but Forest were dominant on the ball with Zach Clough in behind the striker and David Vaughan getting a lot of possession.

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“We wanted to get three in midfield to stop them playing while keeping two up front.

“What we did was to get our wing-backs pushed up against their full-backs too.

“It was almost going man for man all over the pitch, we went three at the back against their front three.

“We were brave, we had nothing to lose and we tried to win the game.

“I thought Baptiste came in and did ever so well, while Callum affected the game in a positive way too.”

Aiden McGeady, moved into the No.10 role behind the strikers, who scored Preston’s equaliser in the 52nd minute.

It was the sixth goal of his loan stay from Everton.

Said Grayson: “We have seen Geads do that a few times now haven’t we?

“When the ball came in he turned down the opportunity a couple of times to get a shot off, instead giving himself that half yard of space.

“We moved Geads into that central area where he played a big part in that system and was very effective.

“It gave us the platform to push on. The game became quite open with both teams trying to win it.”

North End were without Daniel Johnson against Forest, the midfielder’s partner having gone into labour on Friday night.

Grayson said: “DJ asked to be with her. It was going to be a toss of the coin almost as to whether Paul Gallagher or DJ played in midfield.

“DJ’s girlfriend going into labour made the choice an easy one!

“Simon Makienok was also not involved, he had to go back to Denmark for family reasons.”