PNE defender hopes to be quids in

Laird after scoring against Manchester United at Deepdale
Laird after scoring against Manchester United at Deepdale
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Preston North End’s Scott Laird is hoping to have more pound coins in his back pocket before this season is out.

The PNE star revealed this week that he is rewarded with £1 from his grandmother for every goal he scores.

She has been ‘quids in’ this season, as Laird’s strike against Manchester United in the FA Cup on Monday night was only his second of the current campaign.

His piledriver – which took a wicked deflection off Antonio Valencia before deceiving goalkeeper David de Gea – put North End in front against the Red Devils at Deepdale.

It was a lead they held on to for 18 minutes until United hit back to win the fifth-round tie 3-1, courtesy of goals from Ander Herrera, Marouane Fellaini and a disputed Wayne Rooney penalty.

Laird admits one of the first things he did after the game on Monday night was to get on the phone to his grandmother to see if she was willing to up the prizemoney considering the magnitute of the strike.

“Every time we scored as kids, she used to give me and my brothers a pound,” Laird said. “Even though I’m 26 now, I still carry that tradition on.

“She was the first person I rang and I said, ‘I want that pound’.

“I tried saying I wanted a bit more because it was against Manchester United but she says that wasn’t in the 

“It’s something I’ll be going on with until the end of my career.”

While there was no extra cup bonus for him, Laird is hoping his grandmother has to keep digging deep into her pockets over the remainder of the season.

Primarily a left-back, Laird has been utilised in a more attacking role in recent weeks by PNE manager Simon Grayson.

He was used as a left 
wing-back against United in a five-man defence, while in the previous round of the FA Cup against Sheffield United, he was used as an out-and-out winger in the 3-1 replay win at Bramall Lane.

Laird admits playing further forward is something he enjoys and he will be aiming to score in successive matches when North End welcome Scunthorpe United to Deepdale on Saturday.

“I think a big thing we have been missing is supporting the front and rotation,” Laird said.

“I think that is what the best teams in League One and higher do. That is what has caused us problems this season – when there have been people rotating and getting in between the lines.

“When we play a 4-3-3 formation, sometimes the player up top can get isolated, so you need the two wingers to come in and help.

“It’s not just down to the strikers to score all the goals for us – it’s a shared thing.”

North End more than held their own against United for much of Monday’s match and Laird believes there is not a massive difference between the divisions.

“There is not a massive gap any more and we have seen that this season in the FA Cup,” Laird said. “Look at Bradford beating Chelsea at Stamford Bridge – it’s great to see.”