Grayson slams poor first half

Derby manager Nigel Clough is targeting six new signings this

summer but has warned players must also leave Pride Park.

Clough has stepped up his search for new players with the season

nearing its close and has already held talks with some of his


He told the Derby Telegraph: “I think half a dozen signings is

the target we have come up with and they are pretty much set in our


“But there will be some going out. It will not be a case of just

adding six to the squad. A few will be going, but hopefully not the

important ones.

“The recruitment process has been stepped up since Saturday. We

are talking to some players who we would like to bring in. We have

started to talk to one or two who will be out of contract, and we

are getting a positive response.”

Striker Chris Martin and left-sided player Craig Forsyth,

currently on loan with the Rams, are among Clough’s targets.

Martin is out of contract at Norwich this summer and Forysth has

another year to run on his deal at Watford.

On those two, Clough added: “They have done well for us and

there is a possibility of them coming in.

“Chris is out of contract, so there will be more clubs after

him. Craig has got a year left at Watford, so that will be

dependent on their stance.”

Chuks Aneke’s stunning 25-yard strike secured Alex their first

win since lifting the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy but the on-loan

midfielder will not be starting at the weekend as Davis looks to

give youth a chance.

“I’m going to give the academy boys a chance to show what they

can do,” he revealed.

“I am going to play 11 homegrown boys which will be a really

good test for them and a piece of history for us. I will be a

really young team maybe even an Under-20’s team.

“This is the way clubs should go rather than bringing in players

on ridiculous wages and going bust.

“Sometimes the youngsters can take you down and sometimes they

can get you promoted but you have to be brave and courageous and

give them the chance.

“We want instil a little belief in them and give them the chance

in a tough league. They are good group and we want them to all be


Davis admitted his relief at having ended a four-match winless

run on Tuesday night.

He added: “I was delighted to get the win because we have had a

difficult spell after Wembley. Having six hard games after that has

been tough for them and it has been hard to get them going


“They responded well with a battling performance and it was a

really great goal to win it.”

The Latics had climbed to safety on the back of their trio of

wins and Johnson had made eight changes to the side which beat

Crawley at the weekend, but he felt the players let themselves down

with their display on Tuesday night in the 1-0 defeat.

“We’ve had some proper home truths in the dressing room which is

good because we’ll now see who can react to that and who can’t,” he


“If you want to win a league or compete to win a league you have

to show in every game more than we showed here. I was actually

sitting there and all it did was confirm things that I already


“I might be being a bit harsh but it was just the mindset and

the power play, it was weak.

“They (Shrewsbury) weren’t great but they were better than us.

You take some players out of my team that are key ones and it makes

a difference.

“But at the same time I would rather be honest with players as

at least they know where they stand and they know what it


“We have got a couple of people that have been promoted from

League One in that dressing room and I got them to speak as well


“I spoke because I’ve been promoted out of League One and I told

them exactly what it takes – and this wasn’t it.”

Alex striker Chuks Aneke scored a screamer to sink United, who

had already booked their play-off place, but have now won just one

of their last seven games as their run-in continued to stutter.

The Blades caretaker manager said: “It’s not ideal going into

the play-off games in this form but we have an honest set of

players who work hard for each other.

“We’ve got to get ready for three massive play-off games but

confidence is good even if the lads are feeling very


“We knew we were already in the top seven so we took the

opportunity to play a few others and try a few different things but

the 11 we had on the pitch should have had enough to win the


“We tested the keeper, we have looked dangerous from set-plays

but they have one chance and they win the game.

“But that’s been our Achilles heel all season – when we are on

top and creating chances we are not ruthless enough.”

It was the Lilywhites’ first loss in five outings – and only the

third in 13 games under Grayson – but the former Leeds and

Huddersfield boss has criticised his players for a lacklustre


He said: “I’m disappointed because I didn’t want us to go down

with a whimper. We started very poorly, were not lively and didn’t

press them. We allowed them to dictate.

“In the second half we showed more energy, dominated and were

more lively. A draw would have been a fair result, I think.

“We hit the bar through Jack King and could also have had a

penalty as Nicky Wroe felt he was held back.”

Preston end the season against Sheffield United at the weekend

and Grayson wants his charges to bow out in a positive fashion.

“It will be a great match to be involved in and we want to go

there and get a victory,” he added.

“What we’ve done is give us a platform to build on for next

season. I know what we need over the summer and hopefully we’ll get