Play-off chasing PNE players saluted by Grayson

Joe Garner celebrates the win at the end of the game last night
Joe Garner celebrates the win at the end of the game last night
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Simon Grayson has applauded his Preston North End side for putting together the run of victories which has shot them up the Championship.

They made it four victories on the bounce last night by beating Charlton Athletic 2-1 at Deepdale, a result which put them ninth in the table.

They are now just six points away from a play-off berth.

Joe Garner’s 100th career goal put them in front in the first half but the Addicks were quickly level through Johann Berg Gudmundsson.

Substitute Callum Robinson, introduced at the start of the second half, netted the winner in the 52nd minute.

Charlton finished the game with 10 men, defender Harry Lennon receiving a red card for kicking out at Garner 16 minutes from time.

PNE boss Grayson said: “To have won four league games on the trot at this level is very satisfying.

“I complimented the players in the dressing room afterwards on putting this run together.

“It will be interesting to see how many teams have won four games on the bounce in this division this season.

“I’m sure there will be some others but for us to have done it tells you a lot about the players we have got.

“We didn’t play well last night but still got a result – full credit to them.

“We challenged them last weekend to get a good result against Sheffield Wednesday to set us up for this game.

“Now we will see what happens on Saturday at Cardiff - we have six points out of six so far this week which is good.

“It would be nice to round-off the week with another really positive result.” Grayson admitted North End had been below par in the first half and it had needed a change of formation and Robinson’s introduction to liven them up.

They went from 3-5-2 to 4-3-3 and it certainly gave them more of a creative edge against a Charlton side who did not play like strugglers.

Said Grayson: “In the first half, too many balls went up to Garner and Adam Reach around their necks rather than on the deck.

“When we did pass it short and in triangles, we got down the side of Charlton and created a few opportunities.

“In the second half we were much better, we had a solid back four which defended well against.

“We took Bailey Wright off at half-time, that was nothing to do with the mistake he made for their goal, he’s been very good for us these last few weeks.

“But we needed to change it tactically for the sake of the team.

“I felt we weren’t utilising the three at the back and we wanted to get three up top against their back three.

“We wanted more energy about us and Callum has waited patiently for his opportunity.

“He did ever so well for the goal, so did Adam Reach.

“It was great to start with by Anders Lindegaard with his throw out and we broke from there.

“We had legs about us in the second half, we played with a purpose.

“Ultimately we have come out on top in not the best of games, but who cares? We won.”