PNE skipper wants to build on good run

John Mousinho
John Mousinho
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Skipper John Mousinho says Preston North End have to take the ‘honeymoon period’ they’ve experienced since the arrival of Simon Grayson into the remainder of the season and beyond.

North End went into today’s game against Leyton Orient at Deepdale (3pm) on the back of a run which has brought two wins, two draws and a single defeat under Grayson’s management.

With them also having won John Dreyer’s game in charge as caretaker, fortunes have taken a change for the better since the club parted company with Graham Westley in the middle of February.

Mousinho, set to start in the centre of midfield this afternoon in place of the injured John Welsh, wants to drive forward that improvement to ensure a strong finish to the campaign.

Like the vast majority of the PNE squad, Mousinho was brought to the club by former boss Westley and enjoyed success with him at Stevenage.

But he prefers to look forward at the aims which North End have rather than dwell on what went on as Westley’s time in charge hit the skids.

Mousinho said: “I’d never say anything against Graham Westley, he signed me here and signed me for Stevenage.

“He signed the majority of players here which we have to bear in mind.

“Unfortunately it didn’t work out for him here and sometimes that happens in football.

“There are a 100 reasons which people know about and 100 reasons which people don’t know, myself included.

“A change of manager can spark something in the lads, spark a change around the club.

“A by-product of a new manager coming in is the fans are a lot happier and get behind the team which makes a difference to us.

“The biggest thing for us is that we take on the lift it has given us.

“It’s all very well to have a nice honeymoon period and it’s important we nail down these principals and sustain our form.

“We want to finish the season strongly and have a strong pre-season after the summer.

“I think the team have done very well lately.

“If you looked at our fixture list a few weeks ago, it looked a fairly daunting task.

“We took on league leaders Bournemouth and then Swindon who were by then the leaders.

“MK Dons are a side who have finished in the play-offs three times in four seasons.

“We’ve had a lot of tough fixtures and played well, now we’ve got Leyton Orient who are in play-off contention.”

By his own admission, Mousinho has endured a disappointing first season at Preston.

That frustrates him after a promising start to his time at Deepdale.

Said Mousinho: “I felt my best form came at the start of the season.

“I had a good game in the Leeds friendly leading up to the Huddersfield cup tie.

“Against Huddersfield I felt excellent physically and mentally, then five days later I tore my hamstring.

“I haven’t been able to replicate that form and I take responsibility – I haven’t been scoring or creating goals.”