Bogle ‘the one that got away’ for Grayson

Omar Bogle

Omar Bogle

Preston North End manager Simon Grayson will have no excuse for not being aware of the goal threat offered by Wigan Athletic new-boy Omar Bogle this weekend.

Bogle is looking to make his third start on the bounce for Latics, having joined on deadline day from Grimsby Town for £1million.

And he’s a player who had been on the radar of Grayson for quite a while as a result of his prolific days in non-league football.

“We looked at him when he was at Solihull, and kept an eye on him at Grimsby,” revealed the North End manager.

“You’d be foolish not to look at players like that, and we watched him a lot as we’ve done with others.

“Wigan had a bit of a turnaround in the January window, and the performance against Wolves in midweek will give them plenty of encouragement.”

“They’ve got some experience in there, and younger players who are hungry to progress through the leagues.

“We know what to expect. I watched Wigan put in a good performance against Norwich and they’ve got good players.”

Grayson believes nothing less than the best from his side will be good enough to guarantee a third win in a row, following back-to-back triumphs over Brentford (4-2) and Birmingham (2-1) at Deepdale.

“The one thing we won’t do is go to Wigan and underestimate them and think we can be complacent,” added Grayson, whose side sit 10th and seven points shy of the play-off places.

“We have to earn the right to play.

“Everyone’s scrapping for points right the way through the division.

“We know we probably need to work harder than we did on Tuesday, and have more quality than on Tuesday if we want to win.”

On the flip side, a win for Latics could move Warren Joyce’s men out of the bottom three at Burton’s expense.

But it’s not something Grayson will be losing any sleep over in the build-up.

“At the top end it’s a scrap for the top two and the play-off positions, and even down the bottom it’s all very tight,” he assessed.

“But I’m not really concerned about what’s happening at the bottom, to be fair.

“It’s about what we try and do week in and week out.

“Saturday’s going to be a cracking game and cracking atmosphere, and hopefully we can take forward what we’ve done in the last few games.”

This weekend’s game marks the fourth anniversary of Grayson taking charge at Deepdale, and each of the 4,733 travelling fans that have sold out the away end will be given a mask of the manager to wear in his honour.

“It’ll be quite scary to see I suppose,” laughed Grayson.

“It’s a nice idea, I’m not sure who is going to get the blame for this!”

On the flip side, Latics counterpart Joyce admits he’s not been pushing too hard for his club to follow suit.

“I don’t think we’d have enough material to produce 5,000 masks of me, with my nose,” laughed Joyce.

“You’d run out of materials quite quickly.”

On a serious note, Joyce did praise the work done by Grayson over the last four years in the Preston hotseat.

“Obviously there’s been some stability at the club, and there’s been some consistency in his buys and his tactics,” Joyce recognised.

“They’ve managed to build over a number of years now, and staying in the job for so long allows you to do that.”