Manager Graham Westley says that the week without a game has allowed the team to examine closely their start to the season and the improvements they can make.
Looking ahead to the weekend clash with, first timers to Deepdale, Crawley Town, the PNE chief was delighted to have had a little bit of clam to review and progress following an intense start to the campaign.
“It is always nice to have a free week around this time of year when you have been Saturday-Tuesday, playing back-to-back games,” he said. “A lot of players have picked up niggles and they get a chance to try and loosen the legs off and get rid of those.
“It is always a good opportunity to bed one of two things in, have a long have look back at yourselves, see what you’ve been doing and try and make sure you improve in areas that really need some work doing on them. We have had a really good week, it has been highly beneficial.”
One of those areas he has paid particular attention to has been set pieces: “The devil is in the detail,” he continued. “There is such a fine margin between winning and losing, so we have done a lot of work on our attacking set pieces and our defensive set pieces this week.
“It is so important you get that aspect of your game right and we have done some work on that this week.”
One of the features of the Lilywhites play so far this season has been their fast starts and this is something the manager believes will be a permanent feature of the play under his tutelage.
“I am sure across the season you will see our side starting games hard and fast and opening up an advantage early – it is what we do.
“We work very hard to be able to put in the level of intensity that sides can’t live with. There will be a game where you don’t get the goals your play deserves, but there will be plenty of occasions when you do get the goals.
“The fast start is one aspect of playing against Preston.
“You know you are going to get hit hard, you know you are going to get hit early and you know you are likely to go behind and that is a feature of us. But if we don’t get that early goal, then we will sustain a relentless tempo and that relentless tempo is difficult to live with.
“We need to raise our game every time we enter the field of play and need to become better every time we take to the field. The last couple of home performances have improved from where we’ve been previously. We put in a good shift against Palace and Swindon. We scored good goals and looked like an animal with a real appetite and I would expect to see that go on another level.
“The boys are hungry to get back out at Deepdale. It’s a fantastic environment in which to play your football. The passion and atmosphere is building all the time; the togetherness of the Club is growing and frankly I wouldn’t want to be an opposition coming here.”