PNE have winning mentality

Adam Reach could start in Preston's front line against QPR at Deepdale
Adam Reach could start in Preston's front line against QPR at Deepdale
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Simon Grayson has urged Preston North End to sign-off for the international break with a win against Queens Park Rangers at Deepdale tomorrow.

They have a fortnight’s gap in the fixture list between QPR’s visit and the derby clash at Blackburn on April 2.

A victory tomorrow would keep PNE in touch with the play-offs going into the final month of the season.

“We have done really well so far, with the players having conducted themselves in the right manner on the pitch and in training,” said Lilywhites manager Grayson.

“There are some big games coming up, local derbies and matches against teams in the promotion mix.

“Our players will want to play well to make sure they have the chance of playing in those games.

“We want to finish the season in as positive manner as possible.

“There will be no easing off, that is for sure – there are nine games to go in an exciting part of the season.

“As a team, we want to be on the front foot, taking the game to the opposition.

“We are up against a QPR side who were in the Premier League last season.

“Last week, we had a great result at Bolton.

“It was a special day in terms of the number of fans we took, the fact it was a derby and how late in the game we scored.

“We want to take that good result into this weekend and hopefully get three points going into the break.”

It could be that PNE start in the 4-3-3 system which they switched to at half-time against Bolton, with Jordan Hugill flanked by Adam Reach and Callum Robinson.

Reach started at wing-back in the Macron Stadium clash but became much more effective when moved forward.

North End will assess the fitness of Alan Browne and Paul Huntington.

Browne has missed two games with a hip injury, while a calf strain kept Huntington out of the victory at Bolton.

An attempt to recall Ben Davies from his loan with Newport as cover in defence, has hit red tape over the need to get international clearance.

Said Grayson: “The recall has not gone through yet, it is an international transaction and has to go through FIFA who probably have bigger things to deal with.

“We tried to do it because we were a bit short of numbers and we wanted Ben back.

“If it doesn’t work out and we can’t bring him back, we would have no problem with Ben staying at Newport to get some more games.”

Before kick-off, there will be a minute’s applause in memory of former PNE midfielder Alan Spavin who passed away this week, aged 74.

Grayson said: “In this day and age, not many players play more than 200 games for a club, let alone more than 400 which Alan did for Preston.

“He was a great servant for this club and hopefully we can get a win to honour him.”