PNE transfer business to go right down to the wire

Preston North End manager Simon Grayson
Preston North End manager Simon Grayson
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Preston North End boss Simon Grayson says the club have had to play something of a waiting game when it comes to bringing reinforcements to Deepdale.

A right back is top of the wish list after Calum Woods’ serious knee injury with the Lilywhites being linked with moves for Everton’s Gethin Jones and Liverpool’s Connor Randall ahead of Wednesday night’s transfer deadline.

Grayson says while PNE have been in constant talks over potential new faces other teams are also looking to get their squads in order before making players available for moves.

The scrapping of the emergency loan window for clubs in the Championship and below also means managers must have their squads sorted by August 31 with little room for error.

Some players on the fringes therefore may only become available late in the day.

Grayson said: “I’ve given Peter (Risdale) and Mr Hemmings a list of players I’d like to try and sign and obviously we have to see where that goes.

“It’s important that we do try and bring people in but it’s not always easy to do it.

“There’s a list and hopefully we can tick one or two off it.

“We’re working hard and speaking to people all the time but it’s going to be a crazy three of four days right the way through all the divisions.

“It’s just how it is. People don’t want to let players go and then when they get one in they might let players go.

“We’re waiting to a certain degree but we’ve got to be proactive as well.”

Saturday’s 1-0 defeat at Ipswich means PNE have scored just three goals in their opening five league games, increasing some calls for a new striker to be brought in to replace Joe Garner.

Grayson however believes there has also been a problem with chance creation.

The Preston boss said: “Everybody in the division would love to get someone in who can score goals, hold it up, and run the channels but they cost.

“We are what we are but we have to make sure we create chances better as well.

“There wasn’t enough care on the ball from the midfield or wide areas on Saturday so it’s about improving in those areas as well.

“We’ve got lads who can score goals we’ve just not given them the service.”

A disappointing day at Portman Road means four defeats in their five opening Championship games for a North End side that are second bottom of the table heading into the international break.

Having been there and done in before Grayson insists there is no panic.

He said: “We were in this position last year and finished 11th.

“We are frustrated and the supporters will be frustrated but we’ve got no given right to be out of this bottom three because it’s such a demanding league. We have to keep working hard.“

“That’s what we did last year and that’s what we’ll do this year.”