sport

Boss: Top-flight test will help

Simon Grayson believes Preston's pre-season friendlies against top-flight opposition will aid their tilt at promotion out of League One.

North End arranged to play three Premier League teams this summer and, after entertaining Liverpool and Burnley, Leicester will visit Deepdale this Saturday to round off the Lilywhites' preparations.

Wednesday's 2-1 victory against the Clarets, which saw Preston come from behind to win, was achieved against a strong team and Grayson claims such tests can only bolster his squad physically and mentally.

"You've seen the movement of \[Lukas\] Jutkiewicz and \[Danny\] Ings; that will cause problems for Premier League defences, never mind lads that are in League One," said Grayson.

"That's why we're playing them. We could have organised lower-key friendly games where we have a lot of the ball but you want to be tested defensively as well as offensively. The players have sharpened up and it's another step at the weekend for us."

One player who appears to have really relished playing against quality opposition is midfielder Josh Brownhill.

After scoring just three times last season, the former Manchester United trainee has struck four times in five games this pre-season and his 35-yard winner against Burnley epitomised the belief he currently harbours.

"He's playing with a lot of confidence," Grayson said of the 18-year-old.

"He's come back and he looks a lot stronger physically. He's taken responsibility and wants to get on the ball, wants to make things happen. We're really pleased with how he's developed."