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Club News

Big Following A Boost For Gaffer

6 September 2012

Manager Graham Westley is looking forward to seeing a swathe of North End fans packing the away terraces at the weekend.

And as they head down the M61 the Lilywhites will look for their first three points on the road with a short trip across to face Peter Shirtliff’s Bury at Gigg Lane.

Speaking to the press ahead of the clash, the North End boss admitted it would be a tough test, having seen the Shakers in person last Saturday, but feels that the boost of a following well in excess of 2,000 North Enders, could give his side an extra boost.

“It is all about picking the right team for the game; all things considered,” he said. “We won’t underestimate the challenge they will pose for us. I saw them play last weekend against Notts County and although they lost 2-0, they had their fair share of the play and on a different say the result could have been different. 

“They pass the ball very well and Peter is starting to put his stamp on the side; he is playing a different way to the way in which Richie was playing, so players will take their time to adjust to that and people need to be patient with him, but he has a good set of quality players there. He has some fabulous lads, like Schumacher, who is one of the best midfield players in the league and while you have players of that ability, you can never underestimate a side.

“We are pleased to be going there with the type of following we are expecting. It is going to be terrific to be in an away ground and possibly dominate the numbers. That is a big factor for us as a club and the way in which the fans are getting behind the team and the unity and togetherness, is a massive factor. 

“When you get that right even the derby games become games where you can up the performance to an even greater degree.”

With some of the Club’s perennial rivals playing in a different league, this is possibly the closest North End come to a derby game in 2012/13 and as such, this extra incentive is something the manager believes the players need to embrace and use to their advantage.

“If you are in Preston as the Preston manager or a Preston player then it is important you feel the Club’s results and you know what it means to the people. If you don’t do that then you can’t possibly perform as though you do. 

“We are here to sweat blood for the cause; to ensure everybody feels proud of the club they are part of and nobody will be prouder of the Club than us.”

And despite advancing through in two Cup competitions and recording their first league win against Swindon last Sunday, the 44-year-old now wants to bank their first away win: “We have stepped forward in what we are doing. We are not complacent in those steps. We do not get carried away with ourselves or get too depressed. 

North End have received more tickets from Bury for this game; with well over 1,500 already sold you can buy at the Club's ticket and retail store between 9am and 5pm on Thursday, 9am and 6pm on Friday and again on Saturday morning until the coaches leave Deepdale. Alternatively if you log on to buryfc.co.uk and go to their online tickets site, you can also buy online directly from them and collect on the day.

“If we make errors we learn from them and if we do well, we try to bed them in – that’s our nature. In our couple of travelling games so far we have not delivered the three points, but playing with such a great away following that we will have this weekend I think will make a difference and it is an ideal opportunity to get ourselves up and running. However, we don’t underestimate the challenge that they will bring. They are not going to give us the points, we are going to have to go there and earn them.”

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