Simon Grayson predicts that Preston North End’s players and supporters will have to display a degree of patience during tomorrow’s Deepdale clash with Colchester.
The visitors might take some unlocking, bearing in mind they are on the back of a run which has seen them keep four clean sheets in five games.
PNE boss Grayson says a patient approach has been key to his side’s successive victories against Crawley and Coventry, with an emphasis on good passing and possession.
Doing that a third time tomorrow (3pm) would take them into the international break in decent shape.
Grayson said: “We are trying to build from the back and make sure we are hard to beat by limiting the opposition to not many chances.
“We always want to pass the ball around and create opportunities – that is my philosophy and the philosophy of my players.
“We’re trying to build off the last couple of games and get some momentum going to carry us into the next few weeks and months.
“Last week at Coventry we dictated the tempo of play and we will have to replicate that tomorrow or even increase the tempo if we are to beat Colchester.
“We will have to be patient and understand that this isn’t a given game – no game is ever a given.
“The lesson might come from last season when we absolutely dominated against Colchester here, had 30 attempts on goal and ended up only drawing the game.
“We have to be right at it, we have to be better – we might have to be more patient and the crowd has to understand that. Colchester could get people behind the ball and we might need to pass it around waiting for an opportunity.
“They will probably try and hit us on the counter-attack because they have some good pace in wide areas and down the middle in Freddie Sears.
“If we all stick together then hopefully we can come out of it with the right result.”
North End will be without Calum Woods, the right-back having tweaked his hamstring in the short time he was on the pitch at Coventry as a sub.
That will mean another start for Scott Wiseman who put in a strong performance in last week’s victory.
Wiseman is one of four Preston players who will head off for international duty after the game, missing Tuesday’s Johnstone Paint Trophy tie with Port Vale.
He is in the Gibraltar squad for their Euro 2016 qualifiers against Republic of Ireland and Georgia.
Midfielder Alan Browne and Will Hayhurst have been selected for the Republic of Ireland Under-21s.
Callum Robinson is in the England Under-20s squad for a four-team tournament in Germany next week.
On the injury front, Andy Little and John Welsh are back in contention, the pair having got a week of training under their belts after hamstring and calf strains respectively.
Lee Holmes, who tore a pectoral muscle on the first day of pre-season training, returned to full training this week. But he has some way to go before being back in first-team contention.