London's calling for PNE

Simon Grayson is targeting another victory in the capital when he takes Preston to Brentford tomorrow.

By The Newsroom
Friday, 16th September 2016, 6:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 4th October 2016, 2:00 pm
Tom Clarke celebrates scoring PNE's opener against Cardiff
Tom Clarke celebrates scoring PNE's opener against Cardiff

The Lilywhites beat Queens Park Rangers in their previous visit to London last month.

Griffin Park has not been the happiest of grounds for them down the years but the challenge issued by Grayson to his squad is to follow up the midweek win over Cardiff.

North End manager Grayson said: “The nature of this league is that it produces different kinds of tests from game to game.

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“Last Saturday, it was Barnsley who play an expansive 4-4-2, then came Cardiff who played 3-5-2.

“This weekend, we go to Brentford who use a 4-2-3-1.

“You have to adapt, that is the challenge to the players and staff over the course of the season.

“We will aim to nullify the positive aspects of Brentford’s play and impose our own game on them.

“The players have a spring in their step from the other night and we want another win.

“We know what Brentford will be about, they will be buoyant after two good away results in the past week.

“They have the threat of Scott Hogan up front who is a top striker, and a lively player in midfield in Ryan Woods.

“Theirs is an expansive game of football, so we have to do the basics right.”

Grayson has been stressing to his players the need for goals from all areas of the pitch.

In the Cardiff win, skipper Tom Clarke netted the opening goal.

It was the first goal by a PNE centre-half since Paul Huntington scored in the play-off final at Wembley.

Said Grayson: “We had a word with the lads about that in training yesterday.

“You want your strikers scoring but having goals from other positions is a big help.

“The season we went up, Paul Huntington scored something like 10 goals.

“We need the full-backs to score, and the lads in midfield to get their share.

“Tom Clarke’s goal against Cardiff was a good one.

“Funnily enough, someone sent me a clip of a goal very much like that which I scored for Leicester.

“It was the same sort of thing, a high ball in, which the keeper didn’t get and I finished it on the half-volley.

“Mine was better than Tom’s of course!

“Credit to Tom, he did very well and showed some good technique.

“In the first place, he didn’t give up, the referee made a good decision because others might have felt the challenge on the keeper was a bit too severe – which it wasn’t.

“Tom had the composure to turn and shoot, it gave us a platform to build on.

“Getting the first goal has been difficult for us this season, but when we do get it, we are not a bad team.”

North End will continue to monitor Jermaine Beckford’s recovery from the hamstring strain which he suffered in the Ipswich defeat last month.