Hats off to PNE fans

Joe Garner has recovered from a virus which forced his substitution in midweek
Joe Garner has recovered from a virus which forced his substitution in midweek
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Simon Grayson is targeting another victory for Preston North End at Barnsley tomorrow to make Gentry Day go with a swing.

The Lilywhites are the third best travellers in League One, having collected 32 points from away games this season.

Three more at Oakwell in front of a large visiting support would see PNE keep their grip on second place.

North End boss Grayson said: “We will have a fantastic following there and Gentry Day is a fantastic idea.

“The fans will be in their suits and bowler hats and the run that we are on will increase the numbers going over there.

“Our performances away from home have been really good and that has been backed by some fantastic support.

“Hopefully, come 5pm, the fans will be celebrating in a positive manner again.”

Ticket sales last night were past the 2,300 mark, with PNE expecting around 3,000 to make the trip to Yorkshire.

Grayson is pleased to see his side hit double figures in away wins in the league, with six more games to go on the road.

He knows they need to have strong form both home and away to be successful.

“When you look over the whole period, our home results have been very good too – we have only lost one at Deepdale,” said Grayson.

“We just tell the players to try and win as many games as possible, whether at Deepdale or away.

“We know we have to do certain things a bit differently away than we do at home.

“The impetus when you are at home is to go and win from the first whistle. But we always get at teams away and try to put our mark on a game very quickly.

“Ultimately, the results – wherever they happen – are down to us having some very good players.

“They know how to manage the games, they know how to take chances.

“A lot of work goes on in training and behind the scenes into how we play.”

Grayson has a fully-fit squad to choose from, Joe Garner having recovered from a virus which he struggled with during the win over Peterborough.

“Joe is fine – he came in for training yesterday refreshed,” said Grayson.

“It was one of those viruses which disappears as quickly as they come.”

Preston’s run of eight wins and a draw in the last nine games has improved their goal difference no end.

After losing at Crawley on January 31, they had a plus-13 goal difference compared to MK Dons’ plus-34 and Swindon’s plus-25.

PNE are now on plus-31, with Swindon on plus-26 and MK Dons plus-33.

Grayson said: “A few weeks ago we were creating chances but not always taking them.

“But over the last month or so we have had players come back to improve us.

“We have been ruthless in both boxes…the credit goes to the whole team.

“Our defending has been good to keep clean sheets and we’ve been finishing our chances well.”