Leeds link irrelevant for PNE boss Grayson

Simon Grayson says any affection he has for Leeds United will be put firmly to one side when they travel to Deepdale on Boxing Day.

Friday, 23rd December 2016, 5:00 am
Updated Thursday, 29th December 2016, 3:19 pm
Simon Grayson started his career with the Elland Road club

The Preston North End boss came through the ranks at Elland Road and was the Whites manager between 2008 and 2012.

But when two in-form sides meet in what promises to be a Christmas cracker Grayson says it’s all about three points for the Lilywhites.

“Everyone knows my affection with that football club but come Boxing Day I want to beat anybody,” said the PNE boss.

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“I’ll take three points off anybody.

“If at the end of the season they’ve nicked a play-off spot off us I’ll be absolutely gutted.

“It’s about what we’re trying to do as a club and concentrating on what we do.

“It’s just another three points and we’re looking forward to trying to pick them up.”

Former Swansea boss Garry Monk will be in the opposing dugout having come through a sticky start at Elland Road.

After replacing Steve Evans in the summer the 37-year-old was under early pressure with reports that trigger-happy owner Massimo Cellino was ready to sack another manager.

But seven wins in their last nine games means Leeds head to Deepdale in fifth spot in the Championship.

North End are only six points behind in 11th however having lost just two of their last 14 games in the league.

“Garry was probably looking over his shoulder a little bit in the early part of the season given the history of the owner,” said Grayson.

“They’ve stayed out of it a little bit though and let Garry get on with it and they’re reaping the rewards.

“He’s doing a great job as he did at Swansea previously.

“We’ve had them watched, I watched them at Liverpool (a 2-0 defeat at Anfield in the EFL Cup quarter-finals) and they’ve had some good results, especially when they’re at home.

“Obviously we’re at home at Deepdale on Boxing Day though.

“They will be pleased with how they’re progressing but I’m sure they’ll be aware of the run that we’ve been on recently.”

Ticket sales had passed 18,000 as of lunchtime yesterday with limited availability in the Invincibles Pavilion and the Alan Kelly Town End.

Supporters are being advised to get to the ground early as surrounding roads are expected to be busy and parking in short supply.

Sir Tom Finney Way will be closed for 15 minutes after the game.