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League One

Preston North End boss Simon Grayson issues Play-Off warning

26 March 2014

Preston North End boss Simon Grayson admitted a half-time rocket was behind his side's 3-1 victory over Peterborough and demanded improvements ahead of the Play-Offs.

Danny Swanson fired Peterborough ahead after 18 minutes with a curling shot into the bottom corner, but North End levelled on the stroke of half-time through Neil Kilkenny.

Preston then sealed the points through Joe Garner's double - he tapped home in the 80th minute after Paul Gallagher's shot had hit the post before slamming home into the roof of the net in the closing stages.

Victory saw fifth-placed Preston stretch their lead over Peterbotrough, who remain sixth, to 14 points but with second-placed Brentford seven points clear with two games in hand, North End look destined for the play-offs.

Grayson insisted a repeat of his side's first-half performance will see them spend another season in Sky Bet League One.

"I'm pleased now, but I wasn't pleased after about 43 minutes," he said.

"We were slow, second best to every ball and sluggish in possession. We were average to be fair.

"I wasn't happy at half-time and I've always said when we play with a tempo and press then we play better when we're on the ball and we look a better team.

"We were too pedestrian first half, but we got there in the end.

"Neil Kilkenny gave the ball away for their goal, but that epitomised our performance in the opening 45 minutes.

"We had to move the ball quicker and not go long too early.

"They're a good side and in the top six, but I'm more concerned with my side and what we do.

"We can't just coast along until the end of the season and then expect to pick it up in the play-offs, it doesn't work like that."

With MK Dons slipping up at home to Gillingham, Peterborough remain three points above seventh place and have a game in hand over their close rivals.

But boss Darren Ferguson believes his side were found out at Deepdale, admitting promotion remains a long shot.

"I thought the first two goals we conceded were really poor and you can't be that sloppy," he said.

"I'd have to watch the game again. I was happy with some parts of what we did and not in others.

"We caused them all sorts of problems with our system in the first half, but we just didn't keep at it.

"We're a team that's not the most physical, we pride ourselves on technical skills and on a pitch that good we had a real chance, but we just weren't good enough.

"They're a good team Preston, only had five defeats.

"Joe Garner is a good player who has been fantastic for them this season - the front two of Preston kept them in it at times.

"We're clinging on to the play-off places at the minute, but that's all we're doing.

"We've had 16 defeats and that is too many in a season."


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