FURIOUS GRAYSON WANTS STRONG FINALE
PRESTON boss Simon Grayson has challenged his players to put on a “proper” performance at St James’ Park tomorrow. A 3-1 submission to Norwich at Deepdale on Monday ended any lingering hopes of snatching a play-off berth. Grayson subsequently lambasted his players’ display, describing his half-time team-talk as “the angriest I’ve been in a long, long time”. And, with Preston aiming to notch their highest finish in eight years, the 47-year-old is demanding an improved showing against promotion-chasing Newcastle. “I said before the Norwich game ‘Don’t let the season peter out’,” said Grayson, whose side have now lost three straight matches for the first time since August. “But, for whatever reason, we didn’t do the things we normally do. “When we’re at it off the ball, when we stop the opposition creating chances and have a real desire, energy and workrate, we’re as good as anybody in this division. When we’re not, good teams like Norwich and Newcastle are going to hurt you. “So, let’s not undermine all our good work with a bad finish. We’ve got to stay focused, stay determined, make sure we go to Newcastle and put on a proper performance that represents what we’re all about. They’ve got a great squad, but we have to make it uncomfortable for them.” Preston will be without full-back Greg Cunningham, who fractured his tibia against Norwich and has been ruled out for six to eight weeks. Tom Clarke is also out after scans confirmed a ruptured achilles, leaving the Lilywhites short of defenders.
MESSAGE: Simon Grayson