Grayson up for United test

Published: Wednesday 4th February 2015 by The News Editor

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Preston boss Simon Grayson will be hoping to repeat history after his side set up an FA Cup fifth-round tie with Manchester United by beating Sheffield United 3-1 in their fourth-round replay at Bramall Lane.

Grayson was in charge at Leeds as the then League One club stunned the Red Devils by winning 1-0 at Old Trafford in 2010, the first time ever Sir Alex Ferguson had been beaten in the third round of the FA Cup.

And he got the chance of a second bite at the cherry as a 10-minute three-goal salvo in the second half sent Preston through against their fellow League One opponents.

A double from Paul Gallagher either side of Paul Huntington’s header wiped out Jamie Murphy’s first-half opener for the Blades.

It was a thoroughly deserved victory for Grayson’s men as they dominated throughout and more than did enough to set up the Deepdale clash with Louis van Gaal’s men, who saw off League Two Cambridge in their replay.

“It was a fantastic occasion that day, this is a different team but one we will look forward to playing,” Grayson said. “The football club deserves it because we have not had any ties like this over the last few years.

“I’m sure Deepdale will be full, it’s a massive boost for us, the profile of the game makes it a fantastic attraction.

“Both teams knew what was at stake and we will now play Manchester United at home, one of the biggest clubs around and we will enjoy that when it comes, you want to ply your trade against the best players around.

“We hope this can galvanise us and give us a boost for the rest of the season and now we are really looking to kick on and achieve our main objective which is promotion.”

Sheffield United, who reached the last four of this competition last season and were beaten in the Capital One Cup semi-finals by Tottenham last week, would have fancied another shot at a giant-killing, but they were never at the races, despite taking the lead.

Boss Nigel Clough was frustrated his side could not raise themselves for the clash.

“I’m bitterly disappointed,” he said. “For Manchester United, the biggest club in the country, to come to town as a League One club was a massive incentive.

“But we didn’t play like that was the carrot at the end of the tie.

“Maybe we thought the tie was over when we brought them back here but that is never the case against a team like Preston.

“They thoroughly deserved their victory, defensive mistakes cost us certainly, we were fortunate to be 1-0 up at half-time.

“We gave a free-kick and penalty away and conceded from a corner so you don’t have to look too much further than that.

“It’s the opposite of how we have been in cups, there was no energy or spark on show.”

Published: Wednesday 4th February 2015 by The News Editor

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