Football focus for PNE boss

Greg Cunningham is back from suspension for PNE at Cardiff
Greg Cunningham is back from suspension for PNE at Cardiff
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Simon Grayson will not let the close of the transfer window act as a distraction to Preston’s visit to Cardiff City tonight.

The Lilywhites manager thinks it is strange that a full fixture list has been allowed to clash with the deadline.

Some clubs potentially could be trying to do business during matches in order to meet the 11pm cut-off.

Grayson looks to have done the majority of his deals, with Tyias Browning arriving on loan from Everton yesterday to become the fourth January signing.

A loan switch away from Deepdale for Eoin Doyle is still being worked on.

Portsmouth head the queue for him but Bradford and Bolton are in the frame.

Grayson said: “It is strange that fixtures have been put in on this day, not just for us but in the Premier League too.

“The alternative would have been to move this group of fixtures to another week, have them all on Wednesday or move the window back a couple of days.

“In reality, the window shuts for many managers at 4pm to 5pm today because you have to start concentrating on the team for the game.”

Grayson was pleased to get the Browning deal over the line, the defender having joined on loan for the rest of the season.

With a knee injury ruling Alex Baptiste out for the next couple of weeks and Marnick Vermijl nursing a hernia, the arrival of Browning will give cover at right-back and also in the centre of defence.

“The fact Baps is going to be out for another couple of weeks and Marnick is struggling a little bit with a hernia, it was important to reinforce that area,” said Grayson.

“For now we will manage Marnick through it and in the long-term he might have an operation.”

Grayson did not envisage any late incoming deals being done.

He said: “People have been talking about another striker but they are not easy to get.

“We had three strikers on the bench on Saturday and the two who started.

“Jordan Hugill is just short of 10 goals, Callum Robinson has seven, Simon Makienok six, while I think Jermaine Beckford is one of the best scorers in the squad.

“Stevie May we have not seen the best of because of his injury and he is staying here.

“It is not about financing any deals by allowing people to go out of the club.

“If I wanted to do that, I could have sold two players for astronomical figures – it would have blown you away what we had been offered for two of our players.

“As I’ve said before, we are not a selling club.”

North End will have Greg Cunningham back available tonight after completing a two-game suspension