PNE wary of free-scoring Posh

Jon Taylor has scored five league goals from midfield for Peterborough this season
Jon Taylor has scored five league goals from midfield for Peterborough this season
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Peterborough supporters have not been short-changed in terms of goals this season.

Their 25 League One games have produced 90 goals, Posh the highest scorers in the division with 52.

At the other end they have conceded 38, with none of their matches this term finishing goallless.

Those are the statistics which Simon Grayson has been studying as he prepares Preston for their FA Cup visit to London Road.

In the division higher, PNE are joint second-lowest scorers but their defence is the fourth meanest.

A meeting of different minds then, as the clubs do battle for a place in the fourth round of the competition.

North End boss Grayson said: “Peterborough have had a good season so far, they are in the top six of League One and are the highest scorers in that division.

“We have looked at DVDs of them and they are obviously a very attack-minded team.

“Their philosophy is that they would rather win a game 6-4 or 6-5 than maybe 1-0.

“They throw a lot of bodies forward and a comparison is that they play a bit like Swindon did – play a lot of football and are high-risk.

“Peterborough have got our respect and we have looked at them as much as we have done with any side in our division.

“We have got players in our side who can hurt them and that is what we will be looking to do when we go there.

“It is the start of a busy week on the road for us and we will pick a team to try and win.”

Grayson’s predecessor at North End, Graham Westley, is the man leading Posh’s goal charge.

Appointed in September, he has found his feet at London Road in a way he never did in 13 months in charge of PNE.

His 19 games in charge have yielded 12 wins, two draws and five defeats. It is worth noting that North End won only 16 games out of 62 when Westley was at the Deepdale tiller.

This is the third time he has managed against PNE since leaving nearly three years ago, North End having played Stevenage twice in 2013/14 after he returned there.

Westley insists that accepting the Preston manager’s post was the right decision, despite the way things worked out.

The 47-year-old said: “I don’t regret taking the Preston job for one minute.

“I wanted to take my chances at a bigger club than Stevenage, and I was excited to get the opportunity to manage a club with so much rich history and tradition.

“And I loved every minute of it, even though it ended in a disappointing fashion.

“It was a challenge to rebuild such a big club, but it was one I relished.

“There was some pain – there had to be – but in the end the owners wanted to make a change. I still believe I laid some solid foundations there.

“I don’t want this FA Cup tie to be about me, though. No individual and no team will ever be bigger than the FA Cup.”

Conor Washington is top scorer at Posh with 14 goals, 10 of those in the league.

Strike partner Marcus Maddison has seven in all competitions, while Jon Taylor and Erhum Otzumer have contributed five goals each from midfield.

Posh’s form has been up and down over Christmas, a 2-0 defeat at Blackpool on December 19 followed by victory over Chesterfield on Boxing Day.

They lost 2-0 at Walsall on December 28 but responded by beating Sheffield United 3-2 at Bramall Lane last Saturday.