sport

Grayson hails hat-trick hero

Preston manager Simon Grayson claimed he had always believed in Joe Garner's abilities after the striker's second-half hat-trick knocked Ipswich out of the FA Cup.

Garner, who extended his contract with the club last month, came off the bench with the Prestons 1-0 down in the second-half to change the game.

The 25-year-old struck twice in the space of a minute to put Preston ahead and, while David McGoldrick equalised, Garner won it in the 88th minute.

It was enough to dump the Championship side out and earn a trip to Garner's former club Nottingham Forest in round four with Grayson admitting it is nothing more than the striker deserved.

"He's a natural goalscorer and he's probably not had the run of games to get his confidence and a few goals but we believed in him, saw what he was doing in training and he's getting his just rewards now," said Grayson.

"He's got great movement, he's a brave lad, he'll get on the end of things and he's two-footed. He's playing with a lot of confidence and we want that to continue for a long time.

"It was a typical cup tie, especially in the second half, the first half there wasn't too much in it.

"Both teams passed it around quite nicely without too much end product in the final third but it livened up with a few mistakes and I'm delighted we've come out on top. We made a couple of mistakes, so have Ipswich and it's contributed to a good night.

"Bringing Joe Garner on as your leading scorer isn't a gamble. You make these

decisions trying to get back into the game. We had to show some character after going a goal down because Ipswich could have passed the ball round and made it difficult for us."

Ipswich had led through Frank Nouble's goal in the 58th minute only to concede three times to Garner in 30 minutes.

Stephen Hunt missed a glorious chance for Ipswich with game tied at 2-2 and manager Mick McCarthy insisted the players had to take the blame for the

defeat.

"It's a game we were controlling. We've let them off the hook and conceded

three very poor goals from my point of view," he said.

"I thought we were alright first half. We just didn't defend the corner kick particularly well. It's not too often I've been this way. I try to be consistent in what I'm like but I was annoyed with that.

"I don't see any kids or inexperienced in that team, it's a good team I've put out. We had the best chance to win it, Hunty's not played that many games, perhaps on a different day (he'd have scored) then the ball wasn't cleared properly so in that sense I'm very annoyed.

"We got in the play-off positions and I said all along I'm not really bothered about being there now it would be nice to be there at the end of the season. We've got a big important game against Millwall now."