PNE boss keeping the faith

Calum Woods is pushing for a recall against Yeovil
Calum Woods is pushing for a recall against Yeovil
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Preston North End manager Simon Grayson is confident that he and the Deepdale faithful will see a positive reaction from the Lilywhites players tonight to Friday’s disappointing showing against Leyton Orient.

They face Yeovil (7.45pm) and Grayson has detected a determination in the squad to get back on a winning track.

North End put in a poor display in the 2-2 draw against Orient, the frustration of that result increasing the next day when promotion rivals Swindon, Bristol City and MK Dons all won.

Grayson told the Evening Post: “This is a good group and they do realise when they have not performed.

“The players will have spent time since Friday night looking at what went wrong and how they can do better.

“On Sunday they came back in, with the training having a good intensity and edge to it. These lads do care, they want to get results and put in good performances.

“Whenever you have a game where you don’t perform well or get the result you want, your reaction straight away is how you can improve.

“After Friday night, I went through all sorts of things in my head, looking at various permutations and systems.

“But you have to be quite rational about the situation and approach things with a clear head.

“Looking at the Orient game, you would say that three or four players probably came out with some credit.

“Others were just below that and then one or two were a little bit below that.

“There won’t be eleven changes tonight but there will be a tweak here and here.

“We have to make sure we win our individual battles, collectively we have to be hard to beat but play with a purpose.

“If we do that we are as good as anyone in this division – we have proved that this season with the results we’ve had home and away.”

Calum Woods, John Welsh, Alan Browne and Bailey Wright will be among those pushing for a recall should Grayson decide to change a few things.

Grayson admitted that the sense of frustration from the Orient draw deepened when results went against them the following afternoon.

“People should not be too despondent, I think frustration was more what everyone was feeling,” said Grayson.

“We should have beaten Orient and then the results going as they did made people feel this was an opportunity missed to get three points.

“I fully expect Swindon, Bristol City and MK Dons to drop points between now and the end of the season.

“If they were to go from now until the end of the season winning every game, then they deserve to go up – I would wish them well.

“But they will drop points and we will pick up points, there is plenty to play for.

“Friday’s disappointment can be used as motivation.

“The Yeovil game is part of a really big week for us and one which could be really positive.

“There are three points on offer tonight, on Saturday there is the chance of playing for a place in the fifth round of the FA Cup, then we have an opportunity for a Wembley appearance next Tuesday.”

PNE’s away game at Fleetwood scheduled for March 28 has been put back to Sunday, March 29 for live TV coverage, kick off 2.15pm.