PNE out to end Bees jinx

Preston will look to bury their Brentford hoodoo and get back on a winning track at Deepdale tomorrow.
Callum Robinson could earn a recall to the Preston side against BrentfordCallum Robinson could earn a recall to the Preston side against Brentford
Callum Robinson could earn a recall to the Preston side against Brentford

Simon Grayson’s men have lost their last six meetings with the Bees, a run which goes back to March 2013.

North End last took a point from this fixture in November 2012, with their last victory coming 10 months before that.

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With PNE in need of a win to get themselves fully going again after three draws and a defeat in the last four, it is not the best time to be facing their bogey team.

Runs have to end some time though, and there is bound to be an element of 
revenge in some players’ minds for the 5-0 drubbing suffered at Griffin Park in September.

That defeat was something of a watershed moment for North End. They have lost just four of their 22 Championship games since then, climbing from 19th place.

Lilywhites boss Grayson said: “You sometimes get runs like that but records have to change at some stage.

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“When you go back to the game at their place earlier in the season, for quite a while there wasn’t much in it.

“Then we made a couple of mistakes and had a crazy last few minutes in which we let in three goals.

“It was something that we learned from because we went on a great run after that.

“Tomorrow we need to set our stall out, make it difficult for them and hopefully our key players are on form to produce the good moments needed to win the game.

“As for revenge, the defeat was a few months ago.

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“If the players want to use that as motivation, then that is up to them.

“My motivation for them is to win a game of football and play well so they stay in the team to face Birmingham.”

After two games without a goal – the first time that has happened this season – there might be a temptation on Grayson’s part to tweak the forward line.

Callum Robinson, a sub in the last two, could return, while Daryl Horgan provides another option in wide areas.

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With Brentford’s visit to Deepdale followed quickly by Birmingham’s visit here on Tuesday night, then the trip to Wigan a week tomorrow, Grayson regards the coming days as a crucial stage of the season.

“With playing Saturday, Tuesday, Saturday, this is a good mark of where teams are at.

“If you get some big wins, they can put you in a strong position.

“On the reverse side, if you lose a few you can drift away from where you want to be.”

Meanwhile, PNE’s FA Youth Cup fifth round clash with Stoke City will be played on Monday, February 27, at Deepdale. Admission is free.