PNE manager’s vote of Shanks

Share this article
Have your say

Simon Grayson says that Preston North End’s pre-season friendly against Liverpool will be of benefit from both a football and financial point of view.

Lilywhites manager Grayson intends giving the majority of his squad time on the pitch in the Deepdale clash tomorrow.

Bailey Wright

Bailey Wright

Ticket sales are currently around the 15,000 mark, with that figure expected to rise.

A heathly-sized crowd, together with a cut of television rights, will provide some decent revenue for the PNE budget.

Grayson said: “It is going to be a big test, as it was last year when we played Liverpool.

“We are thankful to Brendan Rodgers for bringing his side here and that shows how much they enjoyed their visit last time in terms of the pitch and the crowd.

“I will probably put out a different team in each half so that most of the squad get game time and experience.

“It should be a good crowd – the corporate is sold out and we are up to 15,000 sales already.

“If tomorrow is a good day weather-wise, we should sell more tickets.

“As well as being a football exercise, it is a prestigious event and a money-spinner.”

Grayson will have the vast majority of his squad available.

Bailey Wright will swap Brazil for Preston after his World Cup duty with Australia.

The centre-half came back to training on Monday after being given time off following his time with the Socceroos.

While Wright did not play at the World Cup, he was involved in an intense Aussie training schedule which included a ‘mini pre-season’.

So regaining his sharpness should not be much of a problem in the next couple of weeks.

Skipper John Welsh and Scott Wiseman are fit to play after missing the midweek win over Chorley because of injury and illness, respectively.

The two absentees will be Lee Holmes and Kyel Reid – Holmes with a pectoral muscle strain and Reid, who is recovering from knee surgery.

Said Grayson: “It is nice to have Bailey back. He trained on Monday, Tuesday and again yesterday, and looked in good shape.

“Going to the World Cup was a great experience for him and I’m sure that now he will be looking to get a Preston shirt back on.”

Grayson himself has been on the casualty list, undergoing keyhole surgery on his knee earlier in the week.

It meant he missed the Chorley game but he will be back in the dugout tomorrow.

Although the Liverpool side will not include any players who went to the World Cup, Grayson predicts it will still be packed with both experience and talent.

“I’m sure it will be a strong team because Liverpool have some fantastic players on their books,” said Grayson.

“Whoever plays will have Premier League or international experience.

“Probably it will be a similar game to last year in terms of us not having too much possession.

“But that will be good for our shape, organisation and development of the players.

“It is great that we have this fixture again. I have stayed in touch with Brendan and their fitness coach, who I know well.”

The sides will be playing for the Shankly Shield in honour of Bill Shankly, who served Preston as a player and the Reds as manager with such distinction.

In terms of revenue, there is a 50/50 share of the gate and television rights.