Grayson's spoilt for choice with PNE strikers

Simon Grayson is happy to look at different combinations in Preston's attack in a bid to get the goals flowing.

By The Newsroom
Friday, 12th August 2016, 5:00 am
Jermaine Beckford could return to the PNE attack after being rested
Jermaine Beckford could return to the PNE attack after being rested

The PNE manager has plenty of choice within the squad for the forward slots and his selection for tomorrow’s clash at Deepdale will be interesting.

After starting with Jermaine Beckford and Joe Garner at Reading last week, he paired Garner with Eoin Doyle for Tuesday night’s victory against Hartlepool.

Doyle scored a late winner, with Jordan Hugill on the pitch by then in place of Garner.

With Simon Makienok also due to enter the equation once he has shaken off a thigh strain, Grayson has a range of choices.

Grayson said: “We have a lot of games and it is important to keep players sharp, sometimes rest them and rotate them around for different games if needs be.

“We’ve got different options, especially up front, different types of strikers and personnel for different games.

“It is nice to have options rather than be predictable in playing the same two up front every Saturday and Tuesday.

“That extra bit of sharpness could end up making all the difference in a game.

“We didn’t use Jermaine in the Hartlepool game because we have to be careful with him playing Saturday-Tuesday-Saturday in the early part of the season because of what happened with his knee last year – it is protecting him.

“I felt it was a good chance for Eoin Doyle to come into the team.

“With Jordan coming on later in the game and making an impact, there was no need to put Jermaine on too.

“Eoin was very good during pre-season and he added to it with his goal on Tuesday.

“His link-up play was very good and he sniffed around things in the box – on another day he would have had three or four goals.

“In that game Eoin played more centrally than sometimes he did last season when he was wide in a three.”

North End could have Tom Clarke back from a hamstring twinge tomorrow, while Ben Pearson has fully recovered from a virus which kept him out of the opening two games.

Makienok was also able to do some training yesterday.

Said Grayson: “Tom did a little bit of work yesterday morning, which is encouraging.

“He might be fit but it is not a given he will play as you have to be careful with hamstrings.

“Simon Makienok did some training yesterday, while Ben Pearson has trained this week after his illness.”

Fulham arrive at Deepdale on the back of two victories, the first of those against Newcastle a week ago.

Although Newcastle are firm favourites for promotion, Grayson did not regard Fulham’s win as a big shock.

“In the Championship, everyone is capable of beating each other,” said Grayson.

“What Fulham have done since last season is try to address the situation of conceding so many goals.

“They have lost McCormack and Demeble up front but have brought other players in.

“Maybe they are stronger as a general team than last season when they were a bit too open and conceded so many.”