Simon Grayson - Preston did not have to hit the heights to beat Norwich City
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Simon Grayson insisted Preston had played better this season after an assured 2-0 FA Cup third round win against higher league visitors Norwich City.
The Canaries were sunk by Paul Gallagher's second-half brace for the promotion-chasing League One hosts who progressed with no real alarms against the Championship outfit.
'Was it the best performance of the season? For me we have had some really good ones so to beat a Championship team who are desperate to get back up there into the Premier League it would have to rank highly, but I don't think it was our best,' said Grayson.
'Our objective was to try and put on a good performance against a strong Norwich team and a strong squad and obviously to try and get through to the next round and we have managed to achieve that.
'It wasn't as if they had many big hitters out, they had some strong players out there who have played in the Premier League and international football.'
Grayson made numerous changes to his line-up at the start of a hectic period which includes the first leg of the Johnstone's Paint Trophy area final later this week against Walsall at Deepdale.
'A lot of credit goes to the lads who came in. We made five or six changes and I had no hesitation in picking that team because I knew they would go out and represent the football club and do their best,' he said. 'They might not always make the right
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decisions or get the right results but there is a genuine belief and a
}willingness to work extremely hard for the shirt.
'People might have looked and thought I am not too bothered about the FA Cup and deep down my priority is the league and the JPT, because we are two games away from Wembley, but you want to win football matches. Everybody who came into the team performed and did a real professional job against a very strong Norwich team.'
Grayson was adamant Preston were full value for their place in tonight's fourth round draw.
'If you look at the goals it was a great knockdown from Jack (King) and Gally anticipated it well to finish and then you see the work-rate from Jermaine (Beckford) to win the ball back and a great pass from Reidy (Kyel Reid) to set Gally up for his second one,' said Grayson. 'It was no more than we deserved because Stucky (Thorsten Stuckmann) has had nothing to do. I think we could have also had a penalty in the first half because there have been ones given for less in recent weeks.
'We just wanted to get through. The worst thing that can happen is to lose and the team who beat you get a really big tie in the next round. We'll see where it takes us. We're just glad we're in the hat for the next round and we can enjoy the draw.'