Simon Grayson hails Sam Johnstone following fine display for Preston North End

by Ben Topliss

Preston North End manager Simon Grayson has hailed Sam Johnstone following his performance in the 3-0 win against Bradford City on Monday.

Johnstone, on loan at Preston from Manchester United, made two key saves during the clash which proved to be crucial in the victory.

His first denied Jon Stead on the stroke of half-time with the score goalless before he tipped Billy Clarke’s long-range effort over his goal at 2-0 during the second half.

Grayson was delighted with Johnstone’s contribution and lavished him with praise following the match.

Speaking about Johnstone, Grayson said: “Sam’s save just before half-time was a massive one. Had that gone in we would have been looking at a totally different game.

“Even the one at 2-0 was a key save – that was heading right for the top corner until he got there. That would have made it 2-1 with 10 minutes to go and the atmosphere was getting going.

“A lot of people questioned why we brought Sam to the club when we did. But I said at the time and have said since that if someone becomes available who you think can improve the team, then you do it.

“Sam has contributed in different ways, coming out for crosses, shot-saving and his distribution is up there. I’ve been really pleased with how he has done.”

It is good to see United’s loanees doing well while away from the club, with Ben Amos also impressing at Bolton Wanderers prior to his return to Old Trafford this week.

Grayson’s comments will fill Johnstone with confidence as he continues to work hard at his home-town club. He will be looking to continue his good form when Preston take on Bristol City on Saturday.

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