PNE boss savours derby win

Simon Grayson was delighted with Preston North End's derby victory over Blackburn Rovers.

Saturday, 10th December 2016, 7:44 pm
Updated Wednesday, 14th December 2016, 1:39 pm
Callum Robinson celebrates PNE's winning goal with Ben Pringle and Daniel Johnson

The Lilywhites manager labelled the game as 'cracking', it being one of those contests you could not take your eyes off.

Twice North End took the lead in the first half, twice they got pegged back, before Callum Robinson netted an 80th minute winner.

Daniel Johnson curled home a fine finish to put PNE in front, Danny Graham equalising after his penalty had been saved by Chris Maxwell

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Simon Grayson salutes the Preston fans after the final whistle against Blackburn

It was Johnson who restored the lead from the penalty spot, Graham netting a second equaliser in the second half.

Robinson then had three sides of Deepdale on its feet with the winner.

Grayson said: "It was a cracking game for anyone to watch, a really good derby between two teams trying to win the game.

"There was plenty of action, plenty of goals, plenty of goalmouth incidents.

Simon Grayson salutes the Preston fans after the final whistle against Blackburn

"We are delighted we have come out on top and got the three points.

"DJ will be pleased with his performance, it was certainly eventful for him.

"We had worked on a few things during the week, we felt DJ had to get a bit further up the pitch.

"In that first year he came, he scored seven or eight goals in half a season.

"DJ is an attacking midfielder, but sometimes he can't afford to get too far forward when we play a two in there.

"But he showed the quality and will be delighted with the goal.

"He won't be happy to have conceded the penalty but then he showed a lot of character to score our penalty - it was an eventful day for him."

It was a first win in four for North End after draws against Wolves and Burton, and last week's defeat at Sheffield Wednesday.

Reflecting on the performance, Grayson said: "We were very good first half, in the second half Blackburn were better than us and too many opportunities were coming for them.

"We were about to change it to get an extra body in midfield - shore things up in that area - when they equalised.

"That plan went out of the window, with Ben Pringle instead coming on and Callum going up the middle.

"We felt Callum would cause them problems because of the way he was dropping off into pockets and finding space.

"It was a great goal for the winner, Greg Cunningham did very well for it, running confidently and picking out the pass.

"It was a great take from Callum and a good finish."