Grayson aiming for big PNE finish

Adam Reach's loan at Preston ends tomorrow
Adam Reach's loan at Preston ends tomorrow
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Preston North End have the top 10 in their sights as they aim for a big finish to the season against Leeds United at Deepdale tomorrow lunchtime.

While they are guaranteed to finish in the top half – a fine achievement in itself – victory over Leeds could push PNE as high as ninth.

That would delight Simon Grayson and cap an excellent first campaign back in the Championship.

Grayson has continually challenged his squad to meet different goals this season.

First it was survival, then a top-half finish, with briefly the play-offs coming into the reckoning.

Once the top six was beyond reach, North End manager Grayson made a strong finish a high priority.

“We wanted a top-half finish, which we have achieved,” said Grayson, who both played for and managed Leeds.

“This time last week we talked about winning the last two games to try and push into the top 10.

“We played well at Reading and won, now if we win against Leeds we can still finish ninth or 10th. It would be a huge success if we can do that.

“Once we couldn’t get into the play-offs, our aim was to finish in the top 10 and that is still open to us.”

PNE’s player of the year Greg Cunningham is a doubt to face Leeds because of a calf injury, while a similar injury is troubling skipper Tom Clarke.

Anders Lindegaard is likely to be ruled out again because of a shoulder injury.

The Danish keeper is one of five players whose loans finish tomorrow, together with Adam Reach, Eoin Doyle, Marnick Vermijl and Callum Robinson.

Said Grayson: “I doubt that Anders will be fit. I’m not saying he’s definitely out but another fall on the shoulder could do more damage.

“It will be a choice between Chris Kirkland and Mat Hudson for that position.”

A big crowd is expected for the 12.30pm kick-off, with Leeds bringing 5,500 fans.

As PNE prepare to wave goodbye to this term, they today announced season ticket details for 2016/17 – including a pledge should the club reach the Premier League.

Prices have been frozen from this season until July 2, after that there will be an increase of approximately five per cent.

Those who were part of the ambassador scheme and had a discount on their 2015/16 season ticket, will get a 10% discount on next term’s prices if they buy before July 2.

All supporters who buy a season ticket before July 2 will become ‘premier members’.

If PNE are promoted to the Premier League in the next five years, premier members who retain their season ticket holder status will get their first top-flight season ticket free.

Season tickets go on sale on Monday, May 23. Matchday prices have also been frozen.

PNE’s average attendance is 12,787, ahead of Leeds’ visit.

It is the fourth-lowest average in the division, Huddersfield, Brentford and Rotherham below them.