WEB EXCLUSIVE: Simon Grayson says Marnick Vermijl and Alex Baptiste could return to action against Nottingham Forest on Saturday

The international break saw a number of PNE’s Irish contingent get games but at North End’s Springfields Training Facility it has been a chance to get the squad fit and ready for the last eight league matches of the season.

Simon Grayson has not had a right back available for selection for over a month but this weekend’s match against Nottingham Forest could see two return to action.

Marnick Vermijl and Alex Baptiste have both struggled with injuries recently with respective hernia and knee problems but have come through two behind closed doors friendly matches unscathed in the last two weeks.

On the duo, Simon Grayson said: “They both played 90 minutes on Tuesday against Fleetwood, when we had an in-house game against Fleetwood Town during the international break.

“It is nice to have sorted that right back situation and there is now a little bit more competition for places. Its great from our point of view.

“We have eight games to go from now until the end of the season. It’s great to have options available.”

Nottingham Forest are this weekend’s visitors.

The East Midland’s club have had a poor season and sit 20th, one point above the relegation zone.

“Forest, at the beginning of the season, had aspirations to be in the top six not fighting for their lives at the bottom of the Championship,” said Grayson, when assessing Forest’s campaign.

“Regardless, they have some really good players and could hurt us if we aren’t prepared.

“They will know they are in for a tough game because we are hard to beat. We are looking forward to it.”

PNE are five points of the Play-Off spots and have eight matches, a total of 24 points, to make up the gap.

Grayson is relaxed and feels that the pressure is on the other teams in the league.

The North End manager is content with the current league position and wants his players to enjoy the last few matches of the season.

“It is tough because we are playing catch-up on the teams above us but one thing we have got to our advantage is that there is so much pressure on the top six at this moment in time to remain there,” he said.

“We don’t have to get there.

“We want to but we are under no financial pressure if we don’t whereas a lot of teams in and around it now, if they don’t get it, it may have implications for them in the future.

“There are eight chances to enjoy and express ourselves and who knows what is around the corner for us?”


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