Grayson demands that PNE are at their Sunday best

Preston striker Jordan Hugill will be looking to end the season by adding to his 13 goals
Preston striker Jordan Hugill will be looking to end the season by adding to his 13 goals

Simon Grayson has set his Preston players the challenge of finishing the season with more points than last year.

The Lilywhites head to Wolves on Sunday with 62 points, the same number they collected in 2015/16.

As recently as last month, they looked well on target to better that.

But having hit the wall in recent weeks and gone five games without a win, it all comes down to what they can at Molineux (12pm).

Grayson’s men head to the Midlands in 11th spot, their finishing position a year ago.

The highest they can go is 10th, the lowest 13th place.

“Beating last season’s total is a massive one to aim for,” said Grayson.

“That would be a really big achievement when you look at the teams who came down and how strong the division is.

“What we have done this season is fantastic and it would be nice to beat what we did last season.

“We have improved as a team, we have got closer to the play-offs and scored more goals.

“To be above a lot of big clubs who have spent a lot of money – Wolves for example spent £13m on one player – shows how well we have done.

“There are a lot of teams near the bottom who have spent a lot of money and have big squads, yet something has gone wrong somewhere as they are in a relegation scrap.

“That is something we have not had since the first couple of months of the season.

“Since then we have been looking at the top part of the division and I think that speaks volumes for us.”

For the season’s finale, Grayson’s selection options are better than they have been in recent games.

Paul Gallagher and Ben Pearson are back from bans and in all likelihood will go straight back into the team.

Jermaine Beckford is also available after being allowed to miss the Rotherham game for family reasons.

Stevie May is set to start up front again after scoring his first PNE goal last week.

Said Grayson: “Stevie has been fine this week, with no ill-effects from his start.

“He has been available for a while, played in bounce games and come on as substitute.

“The only reason he hasn’t played games is because of the form of others.

“Stevie did well with his goal and in all likelihood will start at Wolves.”

Jordan Hugill is set to be May’s partner up front, the club’s top scorer looking to add to his 13 goals.

The returns of Gallagher and Pearson should give the midfield a stronger look.

Grayson said: “It is nice to have those two back and for the suspensions not to be carrying over until next season.

“That is what you want to avoid because you don’t want players doing all the work in pre-season and then not being available for the first games.

“Whatever system and team we put out, we want to finish on a high – the season warrants that.

“The supporters have been fantastic, going up and down the country spending a lot of money. It would be nice to end with a victory.”