Points to prove for PNE

Tom Barkhuizen (centre) is playing with a hernia but should be available to face Rotherham tomorrow
Tom Barkhuizen (centre) is playing with a hernia but should be available to face Rotherham tomorrow

Simon Grayson wants Preston to give the fans a reminder of the good season it has been when they face Rotherham at Deepdale tomorrow.

The PNE boss is anxious that the current run of four defeats does not cloud what has otherwise been a strong campaign.

Rotherham’s visit is the last home game of the campaign before the curtain comes down at Wolves next week.

Until Easter, North End were in play-off contention, albeit an outside chance.

However, defeats to Leeds, Huddersfield, Norwich and Newcastle have seen the wheels come off.

Grayson said: “If we finish with more points and above where we did last year, that will be quite an achievement.

“Tomorrow, I want us to show everyone that the last four games should not cloud what has been a fantastic 
season for us.

“To have been bordering on the play-offs for a long time shows how far we have come.

“It is only our second year in the Championship, which sometimes people forget.

“There have been some great individual displays, a lot of togetherness in the group and a togetherness between the supporters and club.”

Grayson thinks individual errors have been North End’s downfall in the run of defeats,

The reverse at Newcastle on Monday night was a prime example.

“It is not as if anyone has cut us open with really swift counter-attacking football or hit one from 35 yards,” said Grayson.

“You look back to Monday – it was a penalty, two corners and a cheap loss of possession.

“We were well and truly in control of that game apart from that mistake just before half-time.

“The goals have probably come down to a lack of concentration, awareness and game management.”

On the selection front, it is a case of ‘one in, one out’ from the squad which went to 

Alex Baptiste returns from a three-match suspension but Paul Gallagher’s sending off at St James’ Park sees him serve a one-game ban.

Ben Pearson serves the last game of his suspension for reaching 15 bookings.

Grayson has revealed that Tom Barkhuizen has a hernia but that will not prevent him featuring.

“Barkhuizen is playing with a hernia problem that will get solved in the summer,” said Grayson.

“He’s playing as if he’s got no issues with it, heaven knows what he’s going to be like when he’s fully fit.

“Tomorrow we’ll pick a team that needs and wants to win the game. We haven’t got a load of players available.

“It will nice to have Baps back but we are without Gally for this one.”