PNE boss back in the old routine

Simon Grayson takes PNE to his old club Huddersfield on Boxing Day
Simon Grayson takes PNE to his old club Huddersfield on Boxing Day
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Simon Grayson will be back on old ground again when he takes Preston North End to Huddersfield on Boxing Day.

The Lilywhites manager was in charge of the Terriers for a year, Saturday’s visit to the John Smith’s Stadium coming less than a week after PNE faced Leeds – another of his former clubs.

“I’m looking forward to it and my motivation is the same as going into any game, that is to try and get three points,” said Grayson.

“Going back to Elland Road was probably a bit more special, seeing that I supported Leeds, played for them and then managed them for a longer period.

“I had a good time at Huddersfield, I was there for just under a year, got them promoted and left them in a better state than I found them when I walked in the door.”

It was in February 2012 that Grayson joined Huddersfield, getting the job within three weeks of leaving Leeds.

The sack came for him a couple of weeks short of his first anniversary in charge.

Three weeks later, he got the North End job.

Said Grayson: “Looking back at how it ended there, that’s football.

“When you look at some of the sackings nowadays, you might have to say it was the correct decision.

“But we had gone up, had a good start in the Championship and were in the top six for a while.

“Then we lost Jermaine Beckford and James Vaughan to injuries.

“We were eight points off the bottom three when I got sacked.

“I went into a meeting, thinking it was going to be about where we were taking the club in the future – I didn’t realise that the future was going to be without me! I have no grievance with Huddersfield or their owner, time moves on and had I not got the sack there, I wouldn’t have got the opportunity here at Preston.

“At the time it was very disappointing and it was a bit of a shock.

“I had faith in myself as a good manager, the two times I have been sacked I have been back in work within two or three weeks.”

Grayson has had 10 years as a manager, that decade seeing him unemployed for no more than six weeks.

“I think I’ve got better as a manager every year I have done it,” said the 46-year-old.

“Even when Leeds finished seventh in the Championship, I think I’m better now and have learnt from things.

“I’m older and a bit wiser than I was 10 years ago, all the time you need to get better and keep learning along with your staff.

“When you are new to the job and younger, you think you can rule the world.

“Fortunately, I had Tony Parkes with me at Blackpool when I first started, he kept my feet on the floor.

“I’ve had 10 years as a manager and hopefully there are a few more years to come.”

Huddersfield are on their third full-time manager since Grayson was sacked.

Mark Robins succeeded him and when he left just one game into the 2014/15 campaign, Chris Powell took over.

Powell was sacked last month, to be replaced by David Wagner – the former reserve team coach at Borussia Dortmund and Jurgen Klopp’s best mate.

Wagner has overseen two wins and four defeats to date.