PNE need a brighter start

Simon Grayson is looking for a quicker start from his Preston North End side in their visit to Cardiff City tonight.

Tuesday, 31st January 2017, 9:33 am
Updated Tuesday, 31st January 2017, 10:36 am
PNE manager Simon Grayson

The Lilywhites have fallen behind in their last two games against Aston Villa and Ipswich Town.

On both occasions they battled back from conceding first-half goals to score equalisers in the second half.

Jordan Hugill netted twice as PNE fought back to draw 2-2 at Villa, then the striker fired a late leveller against Ipswich.

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Daryl Horgan claps the fans after PNE's draw with Ipswich

PNE manager Grayson said: “The last two games we have not started as well as we had been doing but sometimes you have to give the opposition some credit for that.

“Aston Villa had 30,000 fans behind them the other week, then against Ipswich I didn’t think there was much in the game until they scored.

“That then gave them the belief and confidence and we had to battle back.

“In the majority of games recently though, we have started well.

Daryl Horgan claps the fans after PNE's draw with Ipswich

“We started brightly against Sheffield Wednesday, Arsenal and Brighton, scoring early in the Arsenal and Brighton games.”

In terms of team selection for the clash at the Cardiff City Stadium, Grayson said that knocks picked up by a couple of players in the Ipswich game would be assessed.

Tyias Browning is set to make his debut after completing a loan move from Everton on Monday, while Daryl Horgan is pushing hard for a start after impressive substitute appearances against Villa and Ipswich.

Greg Cunningham returns from a two-match suspension on his 26th birthday.

The North End squad had a later training session than normal on Monday, training in the afternoon at Deepdale before setting off for South Wales.

Tonight’s opponents Cardiff are in 16th place and Grayson expects a tough game.

Grayson said: “You know what to expect from Neil Warnock’s sides.

“He has them hard to beat and Neil gets every last bit out of his teams.

“They have a strong work ethic and are strong at set-pieces.

“There are some very good players in their squad, they have good strength of depth.

“Knowing Neil, he will be trying to do some transfer business during the game!

“We go there confident and looking to build on our good run.”