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Club News

A TOUGH TEST AHEAD AT PNE

20 February 2015

Mark Robins believes that the support from the fans has been overwhelming in the past few games in particular.

He feels their support on Saturday at Deepdale can help drive them towards success on the road once again.

Robins sat down with the media and shared that there were no new injury concerns for his team, and also stated that the supporters can help the team overcome the difficult task of taking three points from a side that haven’t lost a home league game since October.

Robins told us: “I’m really pleased with the way things are going, the supporters are fantastic and when I first came in I was talking about the supporters being the 12th man.

"You can feel the momentum building, you can feel the supporters getting more and more excited and the players are in good form.

"They’re playing in a decent way that’s getting us good performances, which is in turn is giving us some decent results.

"This week has been a good week for us, and we hope to maintain that going in to another game against one of the top teams and one of the teams that are fancied to go up automatically.”

Preston North End manager Simon Grayson is anything but a novice in the division of League One, having been promoted to the Championship now less than four times, an impressive feat that has been duly not by Robins, who also heaped praise on the hosts strong performance against Premier League giants Manchester United, who they were unfortunate not to beat in Monday night’s FA Cup Fifth Round tie.

Robins said: “Simon Grayson has a good track record at this level with his promotions with Blackpool, Leeds and Huddersfield and they’ll be fancying themselves off the back of their performance against Manchester United.

"We’ve got a tough game this weekend so we want to go there and put on a good performance and hopefully we’ll be good enough to get something out of this game.”

Something that may have slipped under the radar since Robins took over as manager is the drastic improvement in the club’s goal difference, with the heavy minus finally making its towards the even zero, and Robins insisted that the team’s ability to make this up may prove almost like an extra point in the battle to push up the league table.

Robins stated: “From when I came in people may not remember but we had a major negative goal difference, but now we are almost back to zero with it and if we can get it back in to the positives as quickly as possible then that’s another milestone for us.

"We are on more or less two points a game at the moment from when we came in so we have to try and maintain that and if we’ve left it a little bit too late for this season then who knows.

"But we have to have a real go at trying to keep picking these points against our rivals and certainly with the confidence we’ve got from the two games we’ve just played, we’ve got no reason to think about anything negative going in to a tough game at Preston.”

Talking more specifically about the trip to Lancashire on Saturday, Robins complimented the array of attacking talent Simon Grayson had at his disposal, amongst other quality players in a side chasing automatic promotion, but with the Iron on a solid nine-game unbeaten streak on the road in League One, it’s going to prove a tricky tie for the Lilywhites.

Robins rounded off saying: “Preston are a good team.

"They’ve got great strikers like Jermaine Beckford who I had at Huddersfield, Kevin Davies who’s got a load of know-how and there is also Sylvain Ebanks-Blake who’s there too, as well as obviously Joe Garner who’s also on their books.

"They’ve got other players there too that will complement the forwards with some real quality.

"We saw against Manchester United on Monday that for long periods of the game they held their own and took the lead.

"We certainly know it will be a very tough game on Saturday, and they’ll know the same thing again come ten to five.”

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