PNE in among the big spenders

Simon Grayson is ready for the challenge of guiding Preston to a successful season in the cash-laden Championship.

Friday, 5th August 2016, 5:00 am
Chris Humphrey could start in a wing-back role for PNE tomorrow

Some big money has been spent by several clubs this summer to give the division an even more competitive look than normal.

But the PNE boss will not lose too much sleep over that and is confident of his side being able to more than hold their own.

North End’s season-opener comes against Reading at the Madejski Stadium tomorrow.

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Grayson said: “While I don’t know exactly how the vast amounts of money spent this summer compare to other years, I wouldn’t be surprised if this has been the highest.

“Money ultimately doesn’t bring you success, it brings you certain things and a certain quality of player.

“But that type of player has to deal with Tuesday nights in January and February, and the Saturday-Tuesday-Saturday nature of the Championship.

“The expectancy level goes up a notch or two for those clubs spending big.

“It is going to be a very tough division with the money spent but we can cope with it.

“Some of the clubs are spending money as if it is the Premier League.

“You look at Aston Villa, who have spent £12m on Ross McCormack, and Newcastle with all their deals.

“Norwich are taking Alex Pritchard for £8m.

“Football isn’t just played on a piece of paper though, it is about your attitude and what you do once you cross that white line on to the grass.

“We are under no illusions about the task this season but we will enjoy ourselves and keep working hard.

“There is the challenge of us going to these clubs who are spending the money.

“You can thrive on those experiences, it can bring the best out of you.”

Grayson has the majority of his squad available for the trip to Berkshire and one of his selection issues will be on who plays down the right side.

If he opts for a 3-5-2, Chris Humphrey is a probable starter at right wing-back.

Tom Clarke and Liam Grimshaw are the choices for right-back should Grayson go with a flat back four.

PNE are working towards bringing in a new right-back as he tries to fill the void created by Calum Woods’ absence.

Woods had surgery in London this week to repair damaged knee ligaments.

Grayson will bide his time to get the necessary quality of player he wants and has a couple of options.

He said: “If it looks like we are struggling, we will try and do something quicker.

“At the moment I am working on the philosophy that we can wait to see if we can get better than what we have been offered at the moment.

“The ones we want, the ones who clubs are possibly going to let out, are good players and would be good additions.”