Preston boss looks for revenge in quick Mags rematch

Aleksandar Mitrovic fires home his second goal in Newcastle's 6-0 victory over Preston. Picture by Frank Reid
Aleksandar Mitrovic fires home his second goal in Newcastle's 6-0 victory over Preston. Picture by Frank Reid
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Preston North End boss Simon Grayson hopes it is a different story when his side meet Newcastle United again on Saturday.

The Lancashire side were mauled 6-0 by rampant Newcastle in last night’s EFL Cup tie, as the Magpies marched into the quarter-finals.

Now the focus turns to Saturday’s rematch in the Championship, this time at Deepdale as Rafa Benitez’s men look to maintain top spot.

Grayson, who had no complaints about Alan Browne’s 27th-minute dismissal for an ugly challenge on ex-Sunderland midfielder Jack Colback, is looking for a positive reaction from his side.

He said: “It better be. I’m not going through that again on Saturday. This is a big arena, it’s a big pitch – they make it big – it will be different on Saturday.

“I’m not going to make promises that it’s going to be a different scoreline, but I’d like to think that it will be.

“We could have played our strongest team from Saturday and still been beaten tonight. The league is our priority, but we are hugely disappointed.”

Aleksandar Mitrovic had already headed the home side into the lead when Browne saw red, and with Mohamed Diame having doubled the advantage before the break, Matt Ritchie’s penalty and a delightful second from the Serbia international made the game safe within 10 minutes of the restart and set the stage for Diame and substitute Ayoze Perez to strike at the death.

Newcastle boss Benitez was refusing to dream of cup glory s he turned his attention back to the business of winning promotion.

Benitez said: “I have to concentrate just on Preston on Saturday, wait and see what happens in the draw and after, maybe I can answer those questions.”

The Magpies made seven changes, two fewer than the visitors, but they romped to victory.

Benitez, who was awaiting news of Colback’s condition after he was taken to hospital for an assessment, was delighted with his side’s display, but will take nothing for granted at the weekend.

He said: “They will try to amend the situation, they will try to change things, we will be playing away, so it will be totally different.

“It’s another competition, so we have to enjoy it. Normally I say one or two days and after, concentrate on the next game. It will be tough, for sure.”

On the changes, he added: “We have three or four players who have not been playing too many games. They come in and they play at this level, it can only be positive for the team and the future.

“I’m really pleased to see Mitrovic, Diame, (Christian) Atsu, or even (DeAndre) Yedlin. There were a lot of positives.”

Diame, signed from Hull City in the summer, scored a goal in each half in front of Newcastle’s second biggest ever League Cup home crowd, 49,042 – a gate beaten only by the 1976 semi-final against Tottenham.

The midfielder enthused over the impressive victory and said: “The team are working well. We have a good spirit and winning mentality.

“Everyone is focused and we need to keep going.

“The manager and staff are focused to win every game.

“It doesn’t matter if it is league or cup.

“That is the way you have to do it if you want to achieve something.”

Newcastle: Sels, Yedlin, Mbemba, Hanley, Dummett (Anita 58), Ritchie (Perez 75), Hayden, Colback (Shelvey 32), Atsu, Diame, Mitrovic. Subs not used: Clark, Gayle, Gouffran, Darlow. Booked: Mitrovic. Goals: Mitrovic 19, 55, Diame 38, 87, Ritchie 53 pen, Perez 90

Preston: Lindegaard, Wright, Davies (Clarke 46), Huntington, Humphrey, Browne, Pringle (Gallagher 46), Grimshaw, Spurr, Doyle, Makienok (Johnson 63). Subs not used: Beckford, Maxwell, Hugill, Robinson. Sent Off: Browne (27). Booked: Doyle, Wright.

Att: 49,042. Ref: Andrew Madley (West Yorkshire).