Preston North End: Simon Grayson plays down favourites tag
Manager Simon Grayson has dismissed suggestions that Preston are favourites to win the League One play-offs.
North End finished fifth in the table, one point and one place behind their semi-final opponents Rotherham.
With the first leg at Deepdale on Saturday, many are tipping Preston to reach the Championship.
"I don't think there are favourites. If you are going to go with that theory, it should be the team that finished third," he told BBC Radio Lancashire.
Leyton Orient and Peterborough meet in the other semi-final, with the final taking place at Wembley on 25 May.
Grayson, who has won promotion from the third tier with three different clubs, continued: "We've got a good opportunity but so have the other teams.
"They are four good teams that have been in the play-off places for two-thirds of the season, if not more. It's going to be a tough ask for us all."
Preston have failed to win promotion in any of their previous eight involvements in the play-offs.
Both of this season's games between North End and Rotherham, who finished fourth in League One, ended in draws.
Grayson, who won the play-offs as a manager with Blackpool in 2007 and Huddersfield in 2012, believes Rotherham are dangerous opponents.
And he has warned that playing "suicidal football" against Steve Evans's side could see Preston out of the tie before the second leg in Yorkshire on Thursday.
"We won't go out and play kamikaze football," added the 44-year-old.
"We'll give it a good go to try and win the game, but we certainly won't be playing suicidal football and trying to get it all done in the first leg.
"Rotherham are too good a team to try and do that against anyway. They've got a lot of threats, a lot of pace, and in there for a reason."