Turf Moor win is a big thrill for PNE boss

Burnley's Scott Arfield shields the ball from Preston North End's Marnick Vermijl
Burnley's Scott Arfield shields the ball from Preston North End's Marnick Vermijl
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Simon Grayson felt that his Preston North End side had coped well with both Burnley and the conditions in their derby win at Turf Moor

They shut-out a Clarets outfit who had scored in all nine of their home league games this season, then showed a clinical edge at the other end as goals from Will Keane and Daniel Johnson delivered a 2-0 win.

The game was played in dreadful conditions, with a strong swirling wind and heavy rain being a real test for both sets of players.

Victory kept North End in 18th spot but they put more distance between themselves and the clubs lower down, with the bottom five all losing on Saturday.

Reflecting on a fourth win in the Championship, PNE boss Grayson said: “We had to be on our guard early on because of how Burnley start games.

“They play at a high tempo, with fantastic organisation and discipline.

“We did okay in the first half although I didn’t think we did the simple things well enough to start with.

“At half-time, we talked about the need to get closer to Burnley in the middle of the pitch and to pass the ball more effectively if we were to go on and win the game.

“You saw that when we did that in the second half, we broke quickly and looked a big threat.

“In games at this level you have to earn the right to play, you cannot think that you can go to places like Burnley and dominate from start to finish.

“You have to hang in there at times, win your battles.

“When you make yourself competitive, that allows the football side of it to come into the game.

“We grew into this game and nullified the threats which a good Burnley side have.

“To beat a team who should be there or there abouts at the end of the season, was a big win for us.

“It being a derby match added to the significance of the occasion.

“A couple of weeks ago we suffered the disappointment of a derby defeat to Blackburn.

“We did not want to feel that kind of disappointment again at Burnley.

“I thought it was a decent game in difficult conditions.”

Clarets boss Sean Dyche moaned about a foul on Ben Mee by Marnick Vermijl early in the second half as being a key moment in the game.

Vermijl’s challenge on the Burnley left-back resulted in a free-kick.

However the Belgian escaped a second yellow card having been cautioned late in the first half for a foul on Scott Arfield.

Dyche said: “How on earth we haven’t had a second sending off in two weeks I have no idea. I’m scratching my head over that one. We have to go with what the referees are allegedly debating.”

Grayson felt that referee Kevin Friend had got it spot on though, pointing out that Joey Barton could have walked later in the game.

“I thought the ref managed the game very well in difficult conditions, that is why he is a Premier League referee,” said Grayson.

“It looked to me more a case of Ben Mee running into Marnick rather than Marnick stepping across him.

“On another day he might have got a second yellow and on another day, Joey Barton might have got a second yellow as well.

“It is always better when teams keep 11 players on the pitch and the referee used his head well.”