PNE edging closer to promotion target

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  • Preston boss pleased with battling point against league leaders Bristol City
  • Simon Grayson warns his team there is still work to be done before promotion is achieved
  • North End welcome Gillingham to Deepdale on Tuesday night
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Simon Grayson thinks the point which Preston North End collected against leaders Bristol City will seem even better if it can be followed up with a victory over Gillingham on Tuesday night.

PNE earned a battling 1-1 draw with the Robins in front of Deepdale’s highest league crowd of the season – 16,441.

With third-place MK Dons held to a goalless draw at Port Vale, Grayson’s men stayed five points clear in second.

Lilywhites manager Grayson said: “It is another point to our tally, another game chalked-off.

“We now turn our focus to a tough match against Gillingham on Tuesday.

“There is no complacency from us, we haven’t achieved anything yet and we have to keep on working hard.

Simon Grayson

Simon Grayson

“Recently we have had a really tough against a lot of sides up there in the table.

“We’ve played Bristol City, Bradford, Rochdale, Barnsley, Fleetwood, Peterborough, MK Dons and we are still unbeaten.

“We cannot afford to think that just because Gillingham aren’t in the top eight it is going to be an easy game.

“They will be tough, we have to be prepared for that.”

There is no complacency from us, we haven’t achieved anything yet and we have to keep on working hard

Jermaine Beckford’s 59th minute goal gave North End the lead, the striker netting from close range after Paul Gallagher had put the ball into the six-yard box.

The advantage was to last only four minutes though, Aaron Wilbraham heading in City’s equaliser.

Said Grayson: “Having beaten Bristol City at their place, we would have loved to have done the double on them.

“They are a very good team, strong, powerful, capable of mixing things up and going through the lines.

“The first half was probably two teams cancelling one another out with the system we both played.

“We got into the lead with another goal from Jermaine and what was disappointing was that we didn’t hold on to for long enough.

“If you can score and stop the opposition for 10-15 minutes, you give yourselves a great chance.

“It was only four minutes between the goals, a bit of a soft free-kick in the first place which led to their equaliser.

“We should have been more aware of their delivery, size and movement in the box at set pieces.

“That said, our players stood up to be counted against a very good side, got in blocks when they had to.”