GRAYSON CAN GIVE PRESTON EDGE IN BATTLE
A LOT of work has gone into Bristol City’s promotion from League One, but perhaps the most important piece was done in pre-season.
That pre-season trip to Botswana I spoke about in my last column really gave them a sense of perspective and I’m sure it kept the nerves at bay in the run-in.
With Luke Freeman a driving force and experienced heads like Aaron Wilbraham chipping in with goals, nobody could lay a glove on them and to seal promotion with a 6-0 win at Bradford just underlined their dominance.
Bristol City are a big club with tremendous support and I think the Championship will be a stronger division for having them there.
The question now is, who will claim the second and final automatic slot? Swindon are a great young side, full of energy and talent. The day I watched them, I don’t think they had a player on the park over the age of 24. Their time will come – but not this year.
That just leaves MK Dons and my old club Preston. The Dons have been banging on the door for many years now. They are ready to go up.
But when it comes to the crunch, I just think Preston boss Simon Grayson has the knack at this level.
He’s been there and done it three times before, with Blackpool, Huddersfield and Leeds. When it comes to League One, he’s the go-to guy.
His side had that wobble in January but have come back firing, especially with the return of top-scorer Joe Garner.
And when you consider that the Dons lost a lot of firepower when Benik Afobe went to Wolves, I think Preston will just have that little bit extra to edge over the line.