PNE are all in it together

Paul Gallagher
Paul Gallagher
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Simon Grayson believes that Preston North End being able to fight on three fronts at the moment is down to the depth of the squad rather than just having a best XI.

PNE beat Championship side Norwich City 2-0 in the FA Cup third round at Deepdale, Paul Gallagher scoring both goals.

The fourth round draw takes place tonight on BBC2 ahead of the televised game between AFC Wimbledon and Liverpool.

Grayson made five changes for Saturday’s clash, only one of those enforced because John Welsh was ill.

But the rotated side had enough about it to turn in a very impressive performance to see off the Canaries who did not manage a single effort on target all game.

Lilywhites manager Grayson now has a selection headache of a good kind for Wednesday night’s Johnstone’s Paint Trophy area final home leg against Walsall.

Grayson told the Evening Post: “I would say that we have a strong 20.

“For example, David Buchanan was not in the 18 at Crewe but came in against Norwich and put in an excellent performance.

“Players don’t complain when they aren’t in the squad because they see what the other players are doing.

“Not once has someone come into the team and let us down.

“It is a 20-man team really, all of them will give everything to get us results.

“What I saw from the lads on Saturday really gives me something to think about for Wednesday night.

“We can only have five subs on the bench for the JPT so a few lads are going to be sat in the stand.”

Grayson gave latest signing Sylvan Ebanks-Blake his debut in the last few minutes of the Norwich win.

The 28-year-old striker has joined on a deal until the end of the season after spending more than a month on trial at Deepdale.

Ideally, he will not be the only new face before the end of the transfer window.

Grayson said: “Sylvan has worked exceptionally hard to get to where he is now in terms of his fitness.

“In these last few weeks we have seen a lot of quality from him and this is a deal that we can’t really lose with.

“The lad was desperate to come here, it is not an earth-shattering deal in terms of money and he gives me the luxury of another option.

“Sylvan is probably the best goalscorer we have at the club. My first thoughts when he came was what a good finisher he is.

“I had never worked with him before but straight away I could see his quality. We have just had to make sure we gave him time to build up his fitness.

“I’d still like to do more business because you always need to keep improving but it has to be the right player.

“Whether Callum Robinson happens or not and maybe a couple more, we’ll wait and see.”