Landmark for PNE boss

Grayson salutes the Deepdale crowd on Monday
Grayson salutes the Deepdale crowd on Monday
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Simon Grayson has reiterated his desire to be Preston North End manager for many more years to come.

The PNE boss celebrates his second anniversary in the Deepdale hot seat today.

It was February 18, 2013, when he accepted the job of reviving the club’s fortunes after the ill-fated spell of previous manager Graham Westley.

With PNE lurching towards the relegation zone in League One when he took control, Grayson has presided over a steady improvement in fortunes since.

After initially guiding the club to mid-table safety in the opening months of his tenure, Grayson and his team embarked on a concerted promotion push during his first full season in charge.

Barely out of the play-off positions during the entire campaign, North End were denied a shot at winning promotion when they were beaten by Rotherham United in the play-off semi-finals.

This season has been similar to last with the team challenging at the top of the table.

There have been morale-boosting cup performances, including a decent run in the FA Cup, which culminated in Monday night’s money-spinning tie against Manchester United at Deepdale.

Although Louis van Gaal’s men came out on top 3-1, North End produced a spirited performance and led for 18 minutes in the second half after Scott Laird’s strike.

Grayson boasts a 48 per cent win ratio as PNE manager and he will be aiming to improve that over the remainder of the season as his team go in search of promotion back to the Championship.

Currently lying in fourth spot in the table, North End are just four points behind Swindon in second place, with a game in hand.

“It’s gone really quickly, the two years I have been at the club,” Grayson said.

“We are getting close to where we want to get to.

“It has been a fantastic period, I have enjoyed every minute of it.

“I want to be here a lot longer.

“It only feels like two minutes since I came here – I was on holiday in Dubai when I got the call – and that doesn’t feel that long ago.

“When you come into a club, you want to make sure you take it forward and we have done that.”

Meanwhile, North End striker Kevin Davies is expected to be fit for North End’s league clash against Scunthorpe United at Deepdale on Saturday despite suffering a hand injury on Monday night against United.

The veteran forward spent a period away from the action receiving treatment during the first half, after strike partner Joe Garner accidentally trod on his hand.

The incident occurred early in the match but it did not deter 37-year-old Davies from producing a typically robust display against the Premier League giants, until he was substituted for Callum Robinson in the 75th minute.

Davies tweeted a picture of the injury saying: “Sore hand – think my partner in crime Joe Garner landed on it!”