Simon wants Red Rose victory for PNE

Simon Grayson takes his PNE side to Valley Parade
Simon Grayson takes his PNE side to Valley Parade
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Proud Yorkshireman Simon Grayson is gunning for a Lancashire win when Preston North End cross the Pennines for an Easter Monday Roses battle with Bradford.

The Lilywhites go to Valley Parade on the back of a 12-game unbeaten run in league actio.

And three points in West Yorkshire would be another step closer to automatic promotion.

Grayson’s men are five points clear in second place, MK Dons’ 3-0 win at Swindon on Saturday seeing those two sides swap places in the table.

They are the only side in the automatic promotion race to be playing today, Bristol City hosting Swindon on Tuesday night and MK Dons tackling Scunthorpe.

Were North End to beat the Bantams, it would turn up the heat on their rivals.

Grayson said: “For once in my career I would take a Lancashire win in a Roses match!

“That would not be the case in most other things but on this occasion I want to see disappointed Yorkshiremen.

“We have got ourselves into a good position after being on a very good run and hopefully that can continue against Bradford.

“We’re going there looking to get three points in order to take us nearer the target which we set ourselves at the start of the season.

“At the moment, everyone in our division apart from Bristol City wants to swap places with us.

“We can’t influence what other teams are doing – our focus is on what we do and winning as many games as we possibly can.”

Grayson will consider a change or two to PNE’s side, both to freshen things up after Good Friday’s win over Rochdale and in an attempt to handle Bradford’s physical threat. The heavy condition of the Valley Parade pitch could influence selection too.

Chris Humphrey impressed after coming on as substitute in Friday’s game and could start.

Paul Huntington’s fitness will also be tested after he missed the Rochdale game because of the neck injury he suffered against Fleetwood.

Said Grayson: “We have had players coming into the side after being out of the team and they have done well.

“We have got the opportunity to change things around if needed. Bradford is a slightly different game to Friday’s and we will pick a team accordingly.

“We are aware of the state of the pitch but we will go there and do whatever is needed to try and win.

“This season we have played in games where we have had to mix things up from a playing point of view and used different systems.

“We know what to expect from Bradford, with Jon Stead and James Hanson up there.”

PNE will have a big away following in Yorkshire, with around 2,000 of their 2,700 tickets sold in advance.

Supporters can also pay at the turnstiles and there will be no price increase for those doing that.