‘Six-pointer’ target for PNE

Bailey Wright is back after his red card against Rovers (above)
Bailey Wright is back after his red card against Rovers (above)
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Preston North End will attempt to secure back-to-back league victories for the first time since returning to the Championship when they face Reading at Deepdale tomorrow.

They have won four league games this season, the latest being at Burnley last week.

The previous three against MK Dons, Charlton and Nottingham Forest, were followed by draws.

It is a statistic which PNE manager Simon Grayson would love to improve on.

Grayson said: “If you can get back-to-back wins in any division, it can help you move up the table.

“We won last week against Burnley and didn’t move, which was a bit frustrating, although we did pull away from others by three points.

“It is about consistency and putting together a run of results would be fantastic.

“We need to be focused on the job we need to do against Reading.”

The derby victory at Turf Moor heartened Grayson –it was right up there in terms of performance and significance this season.

A similar show of spirit, focus and determination will be needed to back it up.

Said Grayson: “Both the players and our supporters had a spring in their step after the Burnley game.

“We are not getting carried away but I was delighted with the result and performance.

“What happened at Burnley had been coming over the last few weeks – I’d been saying that performances had been good without us getting the wins we deserved.

“The win came against a very good side who were unbeaten in nine games, it was a scalp – local derby or not.”

Will Keane’s goal last week will earn him another start tomorrow – it was a relief to the striker and coaching staff that he is off the mark in terms of the league.

One goal can hopefully turn quickly into two, as it did for Joe Garner last month.

Said Grayson: “As a manager, I see a lot of different things in training in terms of a striker’s overall play.

“From the outside though, strikers are judged by people on the goals they score, so I was pleased to see Will find the net at Burnley.

“Hopefully he can go on a run because he’s a talented player, no question about it.

“When Will runs with the ball, he is very quick and dynamic.”

Bailey Wright will return to the squad having completed a two-match ban.

Whether the Aussie goes straight back into the team is another matter.

“I’ve got a nice problem with Bailey and Calum Woods being back,” said Grayson.

“Calum was on the bench last week and came through training this week.

“Over the last few weeks we have been scratching around a bit in terms of defensive options but now we have plenty of them.

“Before Bailey and Calum went out of the team, they were our most consistent performers for a number of games.”