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Simon Grayson pleased with Preston North End spirit

8 May 2015

Preston North End boss Simon Grayson was pleased to see his side silence some of their critics with victory at Chesterfield in the Sky Bet League 1 Play-Off semi-final first leg.

Much of the talk before Thursday night's game was about whether Grayson could lift his troops following the disappointment of missing out on automatic promotion on the final day.

But there was no hangover. Preston began brightly and confidently, and they took the lead after six minutes when Jermaine Beckford finished superbly after receiving an in-field pass from Chris Humphrey.

The goal came during Preston's only real spell of sustained pressure, while Chesterfield could not make the most of the numerous occasions they were on top and it was a frustrating night of near-misses for the hosts.

"There was a bit of criticism flying around at the weekend but we've shown a lot of spirit and character and when we've had to defend we have," Grayson said.

"We've put bodies on the line, made blocks and done what defenders are supposed to do. As a team, we worked extremely hard to stop the opposition.

"Since Sunday afternoon I've thought about things, tinkered with the selection and the shape of the team.

"Even up to this you're still deliberating about what you're going to do, but ultimately we're pleased how well the team have been doing and I was not going to get carried away by a 1-0 defeat.

"The players should have been given another opportunity. For large parts when we've had a set-back this season we've always responded in the right manner and we've done that tonight.

"We are pleased that we have done well tonight but we aware that we've not done anything yet until Sunday."

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

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