Promotion is all that matters for PNE boss

Peterborough United manager Darren Ferguson, left, and Preston North End manager Simon Grayson
Peterborough United manager Darren Ferguson, left, and Preston North End manager Simon Grayson
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Simon Grayson tasted victory in his 100th game in charge of Preston North End but admitted promotion was the only statistic which interested him.

Jermaine Beckford’s first goal for North End on the stroke of half-time delivered a 1-0 win over Peterborough at London Road on Saturday.

It gave Grayson a 50% win ratio in his 20 months at the helm, a decent record by any stretch of the imagination.

That compares favourably with the records of Preston managers who reached the 100-game mark and beyond in recent years.

Alan Irvine and Billy Davies both won 44 of their first 100 games in charge, with David Moyes winning 45 and Craig Brown 35.

Grayson said: “It is about the team and the staff here, not about me.

“We work extremely hard to work out the opposition and how we are going to play, we put in the work to assess both strengths and weaknesses.

“The aim is to improve all the time and for long periods the players working under me here have produced some great performances and great results.

“It is nice to have a good record of 50 wins in 100 games but I want a promotion on the CV, not just win ratios.

“The win at Peterborough was an important one, just as every win is.

“It was always going to be difficult going there because they have some good players but to play like we did was very pleasing.

“We had to dig in at times, especially in those last 10 minutes which was probably the most pressure we have been put under recently.

“At other times I thought we controlled the game and we had good opportunities to score more goals.

“Obviously it was great to keep the clean sheet and to win the game.”

Beckford’s winner came in stoppage-time at the end of the first half, the Bolton loan man lifting the ball over Posh keeper Ben Alnwick after a flick from Kevin Davies played him in on goal.

It was a big weight lifted off Beckford’s back after failing to score in his first five games for North End.

Said Grayson: “It was a quality goal to win it, Jermaine has that in his locker.

“He has done that many times for me over the years at other clubs.

“Good players like him don’t lose the quality which they have got.

“Yes, Jermaine has been struggling a little bit with his confidence over the last few weeks and probably could have had a few more goals by now.

“Maybe he was suffering a bit from a lack of games at Bolton but he was always going to score somewhere down the line. Hopefully this is the start of a long line of goals.

“We needed a second goal to make it more comfortable because anything can happen at 1-0.

“In the last 10 minutes they were putting a lot of balls into the box and we had to dig deep and get blocks in.

“I think we have now had 10 away wins with 10 clean sheets which is fantastic testament to the defenders and the team as a whole.

“We played 3-4-1-2 because we felt it would suit us more in terms of how Peterborough played.

“At the end it was all hands to the pump, that is what you have to do if you want to have a successful season.

“We enjoyed the win and now our focus is the Boxing Day game against Barnsley.”