PNE boss takes the positives

North End substitute Callum Robinson glides past Gavin Massey
North End substitute Callum Robinson glides past Gavin Massey
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Simon Grayson is content with Preston North End’s progress going into the international break and still thinks there is plenty more to come from his side.

The Lilywhites’ 4-2 victory over Colchester was their third win on the spin and saw them edge up to fifth place in the League One table.

Goals from Scott Wiseman, Alan Browne, Paul Gallagher and Chris Humphrey gave PNE the three points

North End boss Grayson told the Evening Post: “We’ve had a good response from a tight-knit group since the Chesterfield game.

“We are in a nice position and are winning matches.

“Yes, we could have had a few more points but that is the nature of football.

“We play Port Vale next in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy and then we have the break with no game at the weekend.

“With where we are with injuries at the moment, the break has probably come at a good time and it will be a good chance to get a few fit.”

Grayson’s glass was both half-full and half- empty when it came to assessing the win over Colchester.

He felt that defensively, North End had been too open at times, the midfield having not got a grip on the game.

Going the other way though, Grayson was pleased with the attacking display which saw the four different goalscorers.

Said Grayson: “We had a good start and Paul Gallagher should have scored in the first couple of minutes.

“After going behind I thought we reacted well by getting a couple of goals.

“Then their lad hit a great shot for the equaliser to make it 2-2.

“At that stage we were not winning enough second balls and our midfield three were being dominated by their midfield three.

“At half-time I told the lads they needed to come out of the traps quickly and to be fair to them, they did that with Gally scoring our third.

“We got the fourth but even then we did not kill the game off as we should have done.

“I didn’t think we defended as well as we can do and that meant Jamie Jones had too much to do.

“As an attacking unit, we sent out a team to win matches and score goals, just as we have done all season. We are one of the only teams to have scored in every game this season, which says a lot about us.

“There were some really good chances created and we saw Callum Robinson and Kyel Reid come on to give us that pace, directness and trickery.

“Gally and Humphrey got the goals and were a handful as well – people are chipping in with goals from all the pitch, which is good,”

Grayson was not surprised by the attacking threat which Colchester posed, the Essex outfit having lost just one of their previous five games ahead of the visit to Deepdale.

“They are a good football team, they move the ball well and get into little areas and pockets,” said Grayson.

“It was no surprise how they played and it was a case of us having to match them.

“Our three in midfield were as poor as I have seen them play as a group. They did not get a grip of Colchester’s three.

“But they will learn from the experience and be better for it. I changed things by bringing on Kyel Reid for Josh Brownhill after the fourth goal.

“It was a change I had thought about making at half-time but I wanted to allow the team to get one or two things out of their system.”