Players impress new PNE No.2

New start: Grayson and Snodin
New start: Grayson and Snodin
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If Simon Grayson had any doubts about becoming Preston’s new manager then surely they were ended the moment he took a phone call from his trusted sidekick Glynn Snodin on Saturday tea-time.

Former Doncaster Rovers star Snodin has assisted Grayson throughout his stints as manager of both Leeds United and Huddersfield Town.

And when Preston tentatively declared their interest to Grayson about appointing him as Graham Westley’s replacement, he asked Snodin to run the rule over his prospective new charges during Saturday’s League One encounter against table-toppers Bournemouth.

Snodin was in the crowd at Deepdale and was extremely impressed by what he saw as North End comprehensively defeated the league leaders 2-0 for only their second victory in 15 matches.

As soon as the final whistle sounded, Snodin was on the blower to Grayson, who had just arrived back in the UK after taking a holiday following his sacking as Huddersfield boss.

Snodin said: “I thought the team was magnificent for 90 minutes on Saturday.

“From start to finish, they dictated the play.

“I was very impressed when they had the ball and when they didn’t have the ball. The performance got the fan-base going as well.

“As soon as I got into my car after the game, I rang Simon straight away and said to him these boys were fantastic.

“They were playing against a side, who were top of the table and Eddie Howe always has his sides well organised.

“I thought the lads didn’t give them a sniff. They were fantastic.”

North End’s new management duo go back a long way, to a time when they were both players at Leeds United in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

Grayson was an emerging young talent at Elland Road in those days while Snodin, who at 53 is 10 years older than the new PNE boss, was a senior member of Howard Wilkinson’s first-team squad.

Snodin played a part in Leeds’ promotion back to the top tier of English football in 1990.

Grayson’s career at his home-town club never took off and his time at Elland Road was cut short after only two first-team games when he left to join Leicester City.

“Simon wasn’t good enough to get in that Leeds team,” Snodin said with a wry smile.

“He hadn’t developed enough.

“He was like a fine wine – he got better when he got older!

“But we have a good relationship both on and off the field. He doesn’t want ‘yes men’ around him.

“He wants people with opinions – not in his ear all the time – but at the right time. I just feel with the experience I have got working at some good clubs and under some good managers, I know when it’s the right time to speak to him.

“I enjoy working with Simon.

“I suppose we’re a bit like a married couple. We’ll have a barney or a difference of opinion, but that’s a good thing – that’s what you need.”

Snodin will be part of a new coaching triumvirate at Deepdale alongside Grayson and John Dreyer, who was the assistant manager to Westley.

Dreyer, of course, took charge of first-team affairs for the win over the Cherries on Saturday and Snodin said he is looking forward to working with the ex-Stoke City and Bradford City defender.

“I am pleased that we will be working with John,” Snodin, who has spent a period working for the Northern Ireland national squad as Nigel Worthington’s assistant, said: “I’ve never really come across John during my career, but I’ve met him before and I know what he’s done in his career.

“He’s a lovely man and me and Simon are both looking forward to working with him.”

Much has been made of departed boss Westley’s supposed preference for a long-hours culture at the club, in terms of training.

While refusing to comment on what had gone on before, Snodin said a career in football was a great life to have and hinted the training regime would be different under Grayson.

He added: “What a great life being a footballer is.

“There are a lot of jobs out there where people go to work at six in the morning and don’t get home until nine at night.

“It’s a great career to be in and if you can’t look forward to playing football and training for two hours a day then you shouldn’t be in football.”

Snodin said he is looking forward to getting back in the swing of things for the trip to Swindon Town this Saturday.

Town were rocked this week by the sudden departure of Paolo Di Canio as manager and Snodin is disappointed he won’t be renewing acquaintances with the Italian.

He said: “I worked with Paolo at Cheltenham and he’s a character. I loved him.”