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Players embraced club’s Play-Off record - Preston North End boss Simon Grayson

24 May 2015

Simon Grayson says his players embraced Preston North End’s long-standing Play-Off hoodoo to seal a place in the Sky Bet Championship.

A Jermaine Beckford hat-trick inspired the Lilywhites to a 4-0 victory over Swindon Town at Wembley, with the other goal coming from Paul Huntington, and Grayson believes his men didn’t let history affect them in the Sky Bet League 1 Play-Off Final.

He said: “It’s common knowledge that the football club has suffered a lot of disappointment in the Play-Offs. This is the 10th time of asking and we’ve managed to break it.

“We’ve embraced it, we weren’t frightened of it. It didn’t worry me - the record we had - because one, the players we’ve got and two, records are there to be broken.

“We knew that the record was there but I kept telling the players to be positive and I said, ‘go and be the new breed of Preston North End heroes that can be on the walls, in pictures, celebrating’.”

Preston only found themselves involved in another Play-Off campaign after a last-day defeat to Colchester United, which allowed MK Dons to snatch the second automatic promotion place.

But two 4-0 successes - one against Chesterfield in a two-legged semi-final and one under the arch at Wembley against the Robins - got them over the line and back into the Sky Bet Championship.

“We would have preferred to be on holiday and not go through today but it was what it was,” Grayson, who has now won promotion from League 1 to the Championship with four different clubs, added.

“I think we deserve to go up. I’m not saying that disrespectfully to any of the other teams because everybody has an opportunity in the league and in the Play-Offs.

"We only lost seven games all season and to do that and not get promoted in the normal season is strange. But we’ve responded and ultimately got where we want to be.”

Follow The Sky Bet Football League Play-Offs on Twitter @football_league, on Facebook by searching The Football League and on Instagram @footballleague.

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