Grayson proud of PNE season

Simon Grayson says he can look back on large parts of Preston North End's season with a big sense of pride.

Saturday, 6th May 2017, 6:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 9th May 2017, 7:05 pm
PNE manager Simon Grayson

The campaign comes to a close at Wolves tomorrow and while PNE head to Molineux without a win since the 5-0 drubbing of Bristol City on April 4, Grayson is pleased with what went before.

His side recovered from a poor start which had seen them lose six of their first eight league games, to climb the table and flirt around the edges of the play-offs.

Tenth is the highest they can finish, with them going into tomorrow’s clash in 11th.

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North End boss Grayson said: “There are too many good moments from this season to run through.

“You can look at the games against some of the top teams and be really proud.

“We took four points off Brighton, we beat Reading and beat Huddersfield.

“All round, they were great performances.

“The biggest moment for me was probably the first half against Arsenal in the FA Cup where we executed everything we had worked on.

“We made one of the top teams in Europe look average to a certain degree.

“I thought we could have scored a couple more goals than the one we did.

“The first-half display put us on the map a little bit with people who didn’t know too much about us.

“We have one more game to play this season and we want to try and finish on a high at Wolves.

“Results haven’t been too great recently but they should not overshadow what we have done before this season, we have played well.”

In the days following the Wolves game, Grayson will publish his retained list and turn his focus to shaping the squad for next season.

He has his targets and more strength in depth is desired.

“We have to improve again, that is what we have done in every window,” said Grayson.

“We need to make sure we get extra quality and get that strength in depth.

“When you lose a couple of players, the ones who come in have to help you along the way.

“Maybe that has been a slight problem in the last few weeks which has perhaps not helped us.

“After the weekend we will do the retained list and as in every summer, new players will come in and some will leave.”

Aiden McGeady’s name is at the top of the shopping list after his successful loan from Everton.

PNE have stayed in regular touch with the Toffees during the season, having also taken Tyias Browning from them.

Grayson said: “A starting point is that the player wants to come, we want to make it happen, so let’s just see if it does.

“We are speaking with Everton, we have spoken to them this week about Aiden and Tyias.

“These things don’t always get done quickly.”

McGeady won PNE’s player of the year award last Sunday, an honour which Grayson felt was deserved.

He said: “We have had some consistent performers in the group this season.

“But in the last two or three months, Aiden’s eye-catching performances and goals have warranted him getting the award.

“He has worked hard for us, he’s a special talent who we always thought would give us the X-factor.

“There were two or three others who pushed him close but sometimes it is the more exciting players who got out and get the awards rather than the steady ones.”