PNE boss set to ring the changes

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Simon Grayson admits that a number of the Preston North End squad will feel they justify a recall to the side for tomorrow night’s clash against Yeovil.

That is on the back of the disappointing show by many of the team picked for the 2-2 draw with Leyton Orient.

Scott Laird

Scott Laird

PNE boss Grayson felt only a handful did themselves justice on Friday night.

With that is mind, he will make changes for Yeovil’s visit to Deepdale, the only question being how many.

Grayson said: “There were many aspects of our play against Orient which didn’t meet the standards we set for the players.

“I don’t want to paper over the cracks, I will be honest with people by saying our assessment of the game was that not enough players were playing to the best of their ability.

“I can put a team out and plan how to play but individuals then have to go on the pitch and made decisions, run through a brick wall, pass with a purpose.

“There will definitely be players who were out of the side and squad on Friday, knocking on the door and thinking they have a good chance of going back into the team.”

Scott Laird, a second-half substitute on Friday, will be one of those pushing for a start tomorrow night.

Alan Browne and John Welsh are options to stiffen the midfield.

At the back, Calum Woods and Bailey Wright could come into the plans.

Grayson was content with the debut performance of keeper Sam Johnstone, while scorers Jermaine Beckford and Paul Gallagher, together with Kyel Reid, got the manager’s approval.

“I thought there were two, three or four players who possibly came out with some credit,” said Grayson.

“Beckford held the ball up as well as he has done in his time here.

“Gally was looking for passes and Reidy as well grew into the game.

“It is a position up there which we think Gally can play, obviously Kevin Davies will have been disappointed he didn’t start.

“But we felt we would have the pace to get at their back four in Reidy, Chris Humphrey, Beckford and Gally just behind them.

“Sam Johnstone I thought did okay on his debut.

“He didn’t get much help with the first goal, in fact both goals were poor ones to give away.

“I thought he kicked well, went for crosses, I was pleased with him.”

Tomorrow’s game will give North End the chance to play a bit of catch-up in terms of the sides above them.

Swindon and Bristol City moved eight points clear of them by winning on Saturday, with MK Dons two points ahead after victory over Sheffield United.

On his search for new blood during the January transfer window, Grayson said: “I am working hard to bring players in, we’re waiting on decisions from other clubs regarding players.

“It is not as if we don’t want to bring players in because I understand the situation that we need a couple of players.”