PNE boss fired up for Forest trip

Iain Hume is pushing to start the FA Cup tie at Nottingham Forest
Iain Hume is pushing to start the FA Cup tie at Nottingham Forest
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Simon Grayson does not regard Preston North End’s involvement in the FA Cup as a distraction from their promotion push.

PNE head to the City Ground tomorrow night for a fourth-round battle with Nottingham Forest.

It means a weekend off from League One action – PNE resume at Bradford City next Tuesday.

But Deepdale boss Grayson is happy for his side to compete on two fronts, the Lilywhites squad big enough to cope.

He will also be mindful of the boost which the FA Cup has given the club coffers.

So far, Preston have banked £112,500 in prize money from the first three rounds.

And £90,000 will be collected by tomorrow night’s winners.

Grayson said: “It amazes me sometimes when managers take competitions lightly and think that they have to rest players and rotate them.

“It was refreshing to see what Manuel Pellegrini did the other night when Manchester City played at West Ham.

“Even at 6-0 up from the first leg he fielded his strongest side. He could easily have made 11 changes and still have won the game comfortably.

“Pellegrini wanted to keep City’s winning mentality going and every credit to him.

“We might make changes at Forest but not because we are freshening people up or rotating them.

“If there are changes it will be because of the way we want to play against Forest.”

There will have to be a change up front with Kevin Davies starting a three-match suspension.

Iain Hume is one of the choices to partner the in-form Joe Garner up front in Davies’ absence. Garner will be facing one of his former clubs, Forest having paid out more than £1m to sign him from Carlisle in 2008.

Said Grayson: “It will be nice for Joe to go back to his old club.

“If he is selected he will be looking to continue his run of goals and put in a good performance.

“When Forest signed him from Carlisle he was scoring goals and playing with confidence. And that is what we are getting from him now.

“Joe is a good player – you don’t get a move to Forest and then to Watford without being a good player.”

North End are set to have a backing of more than 2,000 supporters tomorrow night and have so far filled 21 supporters’ coaches.

But on the advice of Nottinghamshire police they have had to bring forward the departure time.

The coaches will now leave Deepdale and Leyland at 4pm instead of 4.30pm.

Meanwhile, North End’s game at MK Dons has been rearranged for Tuesday, February 18, kick-off 7.45pm.

The clash was scheduled for this weekend but had to be postponed because of PNE’s FA Cup involvement.

Admission for under-18s for the new date is just £1, with adult prices remaining the same as the original date.

Tickets are now on sale for the visit to Colchester on February 22.

They cost £15 for adults if bought before this Saturday, with the price going up in stages as the game gets nearer.