PNE boss Simon does not Roo settling for point

Pointing the way: New PNE boss Simon Grayson patrols the touchline at Swindon
Pointing the way: New PNE boss Simon Grayson patrols the touchline at Swindon
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Simon Grayson was a relatively happy man after seeing his first game in charge of Preston North End finish with a 1-1 draw at promotion-chasing Swindon Town.

North End looked like they would take all three points after taking the lead through Will Hayhurst early in the second half.

However, a defensive mistake by David Buchanan allowed Swindon substitute Adam Rooney to equalise 15 minutes from time and in the end Grayson and his men had to settle for a point.

He said: “I was pleased with the lads.

“They showed a lot of effort and desire to not want to get beaten.

“I thought we played some decent stuff at times, but of course, it’s a transition of different managers and different playing styles.

“The players have been very receptive to what we have been trying to do in training, but you saw on Saturday that there’s a desire, as a group, to do better than what they have done this season.

“Swindon is not an easy place to come. They are top of the league and everybody probably expected a home win on the coupon.

“We had to soak up a lot of pressure but you’re going to have to do that when you come to a place like this.

“We just said to them at half-time to have a little bit more belief in yourself and take care of the ball a little bit better.

“If we did that then opportunities would come our way.”

Grayson was disappointed with the manner of Swindon’s equaliser, but was keen not to pin any blame on Buchanan.

He said: “I suppose the only disappointment from our point of view is that the only mistake we made through the course of the day led to their equaliser.

“Bailey was going to head it and then he ducked and David was a bit confused by it.

“It was a genuine mistake. I’m not going to start criticising players when they make a genuine mistake.

“It’s disappointing, but we would certainly have settled for a point before the game.”

Grayson also praised 
Preston-born youngster Hayhurst, who scored his first goal for the club.

He said: “Will’s a local lad and I will be honest, I didn’t know a great deal about him – only what I’ve seen last week in training. We obviously kept the same team as the one which played against Bournemouth because the players deserved that.

“I felt Will grew into the game. He was a little apprehensive at first – was rushing a few things.

“But you can see the quality that he’s got.

“He’s a good runner with the ball and he became more confident as the game went on.

“It was great for him to score his first goal. He will treasure that moment and remember it for a long time to come.”

Grayson also had some good news in respect of Stuart Beavon, who looked like he had gone down with a serious injury in the final 10 minutes.

The striker was substituted clutching his shoulder but Grayson said: “When he came off I thought he had dislocated his shoulder. But his arm just yanked and it went into some kind of spasm but I don’t it will be anything which will bother him too much for next week.

“That’s good news because I thought he was a threat against Swindon.

“He’s a good player and I thought him and Jack King caused them problems.

“But, overall, I was delighted with the result.”