Grayson wants PNE fans to turn up noise

Preston top scorer Joe Garner is fresh for the promotion push after missing  10 weeks of  the season
Preston top scorer Joe Garner is fresh for the promotion push after missing 10 weeks of the season
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Simon Grayson has asked the Deepdale faithful to keep the volume on ‘high’ as Preston North End seek to take another big step towards automatic promotion.

The Lilywhites host Swindon in a second-versus-fourth battle which is looking like attracting a bumper crowd.

Victory for PNE, coupled with a defeat for MK Dons at Rochdale, would see Grayson’s men promoted.

Any other combination of results would take things down to the final day of the season a week on Sunday.

Grayson is willing his side to get the win which, at a minimum, would keep things in their own hands.

He has called on the Preston fans to create a ‘cauldron of noise’ and be a 12th man for the final home match.

The North End manager acknowledges things could get tense but says togetherness between fans and players can play a huge part.

“I’m sure it will be a really positive atmosphere and that is so important,” said Grayson.

“We cannot get away from the fact that people will get nervous – that will happen at every football ground where so much is riding on a game.

“It is great that the club has opened the Bill Shankly Kop so that we will have our supporters right the way around the ground.

“There will be a cauldron of noise and this is an opportunity for our supporters to really keep the players going.

“The players don’t need any more motivation because they are desperate for this.

“But the 12th man which people talk about could play a large part tomorrow.

“Everybody has to be as one this weekend – we are all after this dream of getting promotion.

“It is still in our hands and the fans can play their part by being there in their numbers, supporting, encouraging and being patient when needed.”

Grayson reported a clean bill of health from Tuesday’s 3-1 win at Notts County and says a lot of attention has been given to keeping the squad fresh during the run-in.

What he thinks could be to Preston’s advantage is that key players have plenty left in the tank after spells out of action earlier in the campaign.

“These last few weeks have been about keeping the lads ticking over – mentally fresh and sharp,” said Grayson.

“One of the reasons why we are in good shape is that some of our players have not played all the games this season.

“Jermaine Beckford hasn’t played throughout the season, Joe Garner had his 10 weeks out with the injury.

“Daniel Johnson did not play consistently earlier in the season, John Welsh was in and out of the team to start with.

“They are quite fresh and is one of the reasons why we are on this excellent 17-game unbeaten run.

“As a coaching staff, we will all draw on our experiences to help the players.

“Glynn Snodin, Alan Kelly, John Dreyer and myself have all had promotions as players and as staff.

“We will all use that to help us get to where we want to be.”