PNE boss pleased with his men

Calum Woodshas been a  central figures in North End's fine defensive record
Calum Woodshas been a central figures in North End's fine defensive record
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Simon Grayson saluted his record-equalling Preston North End side after yet another clean sheet in the draw with Queens Park Rangers at Loftus Road.

Their sixth shut-out on the bounce matched the club record achieved in 1901, 1972 and 2000.

It will be a record they can claim outright if they keep it clean against Blackburn after the international break.

PNE limited a QPR forward line of Charlie Austin, Matt Phillips and Junior Hoilett, to just one shot on target.

Grayson had been forced to change his defence ahead of the trip to London, with Greg Cunningham sidelined by a thigh strain – Paul Huntington returning to the side.

Early in the game, the North End boss switched system from a 3-5-2 to a 4-3-3.

“We lost Greg Cunningham with a bit of a thigh strain from the Nottingham Forest game,” said Grayson.

“Hunts came in and played like he had never been away.

“I think it was Marnick Vermijl’s best game for us, he has grown into the role as a wing-back and then a full-back.

“There were some really outstanding performances.

“Everyone deserves a huge amount of credit.

“We have worked hard on the training ground but you can sometimes do that and not put it into practice in matches.

“So full credit to the players for doing it.

“I’m going over old ground here but we’ve had Tom Clarke out, Greg Cunningham missed this one, Paddy McCarthy was signed and hardly played.

“The lads at the back have been fantastic, the midfield worked hard in front of them and so have the strikers.

“We have a really strong desire about us. The only saves Jordan Pickford had to make was from long distance.”

Grayson was pleased with how the change of formation worked in the first half.

He said: “I looked at it before the game about how QPR might play, thinking would they cause us problems with their three up top against our three centre-halves.

“We always had a plan ‘B’ in the back of my mind about changing it and we did that after 10-15 minutes.

“Sacrifices were made for the team with Eoin Doyle moving out to the right which is not his ideal game.

“But he wanted to do it for the team. You saw what it meant to the team to keep another clean sheet.

“In terms of going forward, we know we can utilise the ball a little bit better.

“But it is horses for courses at times you have to make sure you can get a result.

“As the game wore on, we frustrated them and looked like we could win it. We had some half-decent opportunities when we got forward.

“It was a very professional performance and very satisfactory for the players who dug deep and worked extremely hard.”

Grayson rewarded the players with a couple of days off, the squad back in for training tomorrow.