Grayson demands PNE's finest

Simon Grayson wants a smart performance from Preston at Fulham tomorrow to mark the fans being in their Gentry finery.

Friday, 3rd March 2017, 5:00 am
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 10:04 am
North End winger Aiden McGeady

More than 2,600 PNE fans will be at Craven Cottage to celebrate Gentry Day and Grayson is targeting a victory to help the occasion go with a swing.

Three points would see North End leapfrog their hosts in the pack underneath the play-off places, underlining the significance of the game in addition to events in the away section.

“We will be going there to try and win the game,” said Grayson.

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“Fulham don’t hold back with the way they play, they push plenty of bodies up, so it should be a good game.

“It is Gentry Day, there will be a lot of Preston fans going down there and hopefully it is a good day like the one we had at Bolton last year.

“Our away support has been fantastic, they are there in their numbers every week.

“Gentry Day is unique to this club to celebrate what has happened in the past with the suits and bowler hats.

“Hopefully someone can capture a picture of a player celebrating the winner with a bowler hat on.

“When I first came to the club I didn’t know anything about this but now that I’ve been here for four years you get to understand it and know what it means to the supporters connected with it.

“It’s nice to have something unique in football and it would make it an even more special day if we get a result.”

As well as the usual train, coach and car, 200 fans are making the trip along the Thames by boat.

Selection wise, North End will have Ben Pearson back in action after a groin strain kept him out of the QPR game.

Who will play at right-back or whether Grayson goes with a system which does not require one, is an interesting situation. He started 3-4-1-2 against QPR, Aiden McGeady playing behind the strikers.

At half-time they returned to 4-4-2, Greg Cunningham filling in at right-back, with McGeady on the left wing and Daryl Horgan on the right.

There is the option to move Tom Clarke to right-back and give Andy Boyle the nod in the centre of defence.

Chris Maxwell will make his 27th successive league start in the PNE goalkeeper’s jersey, having signed a new contract yesterday.

The Welshman put pen to paper on a year’s extension to his current deal, keeping him at PNE until summer 2020.

“This club is desperate to get to the Premier League and that is something I’ve always wanted,” said Maxwell.

“Hopefully it can be done this season through the 
play-offs or if not, this is a bridge to an exciting season next time.”