Grayson savours top level reunion with Norwich City
Simon Grayson is looking forward to the day when the rivalry between his Leeds United side and the Canaries can be played out on a Premier League stage.
Both sides produced a game worthy of the top flight and are still very much involved in the dogfight at the top end of the Championship table as they seek back-to-back promotions.
'We had two fantastic games last year in League One,' said Grayson. 'We had a great game this year down at Carrow Road. I think both mine and Paul's philosophy is to try and play in the right manner, get hard-working lads, but who can play at the same time. Hopefully that will fulfil that ambition that both Norwich and Leeds United are back in the Premiership, because you've seen their following today – they have got a vast amount of supporters there, averaging 25,000 I think and we had nearly 32,000 today. Two clubs that have been in the Premiership and hopefully in the future will be in there.'
Grayson believes Leeds should be a step closer after their first-half performance in particular.
'I was disappointed we didn't win the game because I felt we had enough chances, especially in the first half,' said the Leeds boss. 'It was an entertaining game, great for both sets of supporters. But it would have been an absolute travesty if we hadn't have got anything out of the game because we played very well and played to the game plan we set up.
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'By half-time the game could have been over. We hit the bar and hit the post and had other chances as well. They didn't really create many chances in the first half. I said to the players at half-time, 'don't let their goal disappoint you, keep playing with the same spirit and you would get your rewards'.'
The big chance came in time added on when keeper John Ruddy saved from sub Billy Paynter.
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'Paynter's chance at the end sums up the game,' Grayson said. 'We had a great opportunity and we were inches away from it going in.'
Grayson saw plenty of City's Wes Hoolahan, a player he knows well.
'He's a good player,' he said. 'I signed him when I was at Blackpool and he did very well for me there so I knew what he was all about. They've got some good players – they are not in the top six for no reason – but we've got some good players so we made sure we tried to be hard to beat in terms of having the extra players in midfield.'
Grayson revealed that the match almost fell victim to the weather.
'It's testament to the ground staff that they actually got the game on because of the amount of snow we had,' he said. 'Both teams wanted it on. Norwich isn't just around the corner for their supporters so it was a fantastic effort that everybody got the game on. The game and the performance warranted all the work.'