PNE boss has no fear

Preston boss Simon Grayson with the FA Cup at Deepdale
Preston boss Simon Grayson with the FA Cup at Deepdale
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Simon Grayson is hoping one of his Preston players can step forward to earn ‘world-wide hero’ status in the FA Cup clash with Manchester United on Monday night.

The PNE boss wants his side to play with belief and without fear in front of a packed Deepdale.

Although North End start the fifth-round tie as underdogs, Grayson says there is the chance of a shock result.

“This sort of game does not come around very often so I want the lads to grasp the opportunity,” said Grayson.

“Somewhere down the line there might be a hero.

“From being a local hero at Preston, they might become a national or worldwide hero if they produce a performance or score a goal which helps us win. We know what a quality side we are going to face in United – they have fantastic world-class players.

“If on the day they perform like they can do and we don’t perform, 99 times out of 100 they will beat us.

“However, if we perform really well and United are off-key, then we have a good opportunity.

“It is also about what this tie does for the club – lifting the profile, the revenue it brings in.”

Grayson ran the rule over United in Wednesday night’s 3-1 win over Burnley at Old Trafford.

The Clarets pushed them all the way in that game, Grayson noting with interest one or two points. We have taken United on board as we do with every team we are due to play,” said Grayson.

“I watched them on Wednesday and Burnley gave them a good game.

“You watch those games to see if there is anything you can pick up with regards to hurting them in certain areas of the pitch.

“Any time you go and watch a team live you can pick out good and bad aspects. We are aware of certain qualities United have got and the attacking prowess they have.

“But there are certain situations where one or two of our players can go and hurt them in certain areas.

“We will try and play to our strengths. Man for man, they are better than us but if we play as a team and work as a team, who knows.”

Meanwhile, Grayson has used the extra coverage given to the club ahead of the United game to help publicise a charity bike ride he will be doing in the summer.

He is riding from Leyton Orient’s ground to the Amsterdam Arena, the home of Ajax.

Grayson is raising funds for Prostate Cancer UK in memory of his friend Stephen Garbett who died last year.

“There will be a contingent of Preston staff and friends riding with me,” said Grayson.

“Hopefully it will raise a lot of money for a fantastic charity. The fitness coach here has given me a programme to get into condition.”

People can support the bike ride and donate at