WEB EXCLUSIVE: Preston North End manager is out for a repeat against Fulham this weekend

Simon Grayson wants more of the same from his players this week.

The Preston North End manager is hoping to replicate the same performances in the next three matches, against Fulham, Derby and Reading, as the club managed in the previous three games.

That would see the club take seven points from an available nine and put the club right in the Play-Off mix.

The next seven days are pivotal for Grayson and his men if they are to have any chance of finishing in the top six and positive results could turn their season from a good campaign to a great one.

When asked ‘How big a week this is for Preston North End?’, Grayson said: “You probably asked me this question a week ago when we had the three games coming up in the week and we took seven points out of the nine and that was a good return.

“This week is going to be the same but we’re playing teams in and around us obviously and that’s going to be a large part to dictate the rest of the season really.

“But I think regardless of the three games there are still going to be a lot of twists and turns because I’m sure there will be some people that are working out who XY and Z have got to play, who’s going to pick up points here there and everywhere.

“Ultimately, we can’t affect what other teams are going to do, we just have to go to Fulham at the weekend, do the best that we can, try and get the three points, do the recovery, get ready for the Derby game and then Reading after that.

“They’re all significant, but people do add extra significance when you know that they’re teams in and around you.”

North End travel to Craven Cottage and are taking 2,600 supporters with them on Saturday afternoon.

It is the annual Gentry Day fixture where fans celebrate the lives of fans and players who have passed away.

Grayson is confident that he will reward the fans with a win when the fulltime whistle blows.

We’ll be setting out to win the game, and certainly the way they play, they don’t hold back and push bodies forward,” Grayson said.

So Gentry Day, 3,000 Preston fans are going to be down there, hopefully it’s a good day for us and another day like we had last year on Gentry Day when we went to Bolton got a great result and everybody connected with the club enjoyed it.

Preston North End have somewhat of an injury crisis with no recognised right-back available for this weekend’s game.

Alex Baptiste, Everton loanee Tyais Browing and Marnick Vermijl all have knocks which may force Tom Clarke or Tom Barkuizen into the full back role.

Grayson is confident that he can manage the situation, saying:

Do we go with the system where we play with wing backs or do we go with the flat back four that we finished with?

“That’s probably something you’ll try and work out at 3pm when the teams come out but it’s something that we have to deal with.

“Lads are making progress coming back but none of those right-backs will be available for Saturday.”


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