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Finish On A Good Run

18 April 2013

Thorsten Stuckmann is hoping to finish the season in positive fashion after returning to action against Carlisle.

This Saturday Tranmere Rovers, who still harbour Play-Off ambitions, visit Deepdale and Stuckmann is keen to put those hopes to rest as North End look to continue their good end of season form.

Speaking exclusively to PNE.Com the PNE No.1 said: “I think it will be a tough game, it is there last chance to get to the Play-Offs and they will try to do everything right to get it but it is our last home game of the season and we want to finish the season at home with a win and that is what we are looking for.

“We will play for three points and we want to keep them at home.

“The fact we can stop them from making the Play-Offs is an added incentive to us.

“I am not so much about them making the Play-Offs, but we want to finish the season off at home with a win and this season was up and down a lot so we want to make sure we get three wins and finish on a good run.

“It doesn’t matter who comes, whether it is Tranmere, Crawley or Sheffield United.

“They have all got chances of making the Play-Offs so it is three tough games but we want to win them all.”

The Lilywhites 1-1 draw at Brunton Park was Stuckmann’s first game since February and he admits he was pleased to be back in competitive action.

“It was nice to be back on the pitch,” added the giant German.

“I was out for 12 games and you always want to play games and I really enjoyed it.

“Unfortunately we got a draw, but in the end, with ten men, it was good, but we tried to win the game and I was pleased to play.”

Recently, Republic of Ireland goalkeeping coach Alan Kelly has returned to the Lilywhites and Stuckmann is delighted to have his former mentor back who brings with him a wealth of expertise and knowledge not just domestically, but internationally as well.

Stuckmann continued: “I worked with Alan before Graham Westley came in and I really enjoyed it last time.

“It is really good, it is shaper and that’s all you need as a goalkeeper and Declan [Rudd] and me, we both enjoy the sessions and if you enjoy the session then you can be at your best and I think that is what you can see.

“I knew him before and I really appreciate that he is back in and his methods are really, really good.

“For me it feels a bit like goalkeeping in Germany how I was used to it.

“It is quite modern, he keeps it very modern and he is quite close to the game which is really, really good and Dec and me are both well pleased, so I think it is great work from the manager to get him back in.”

Prior to the arrival of Rudd on loan from Norwich City, Stuckmann shared goalkeeping responsibilities with Steve Simonsen and despite not playing as often as he would have liked this season; he is full of admiration for Rudd 
despite the frustrations of not seeing much playing time.

“We have spoke about everything every now and then and I think he is very, very good for his age,” said Stuckmann when asked about sharing tips and advice with Rudd.

“He will make his way and there is no doubt, I have said it to a couple of friends, he is probably the best keeper I have worked with in the team.

“If he keeps doing what he does at the moment, he will go up to the Premier League, for me there is no doubt because he has got everything you need for a keeper, so fingers crossed for him that he keeps free from injuries and he will make his way.

“Being on the bench and not getting on is just one of those things being a goalkeeper.

“If you are in the team and playing well you keep the spot and as a number two there is no chance, but for the team you have to support the other keeper because it is not about you.

“Of course you want to play and having to sit on the bench is frustrating, but in the end it is all about the team, if they are successful you are successful as well.

“I hope I will get a few more games because I am out of contract at the end of the season and I want to make an impact to impress the manager and then we will see, but we all want to play games, especially me.

“I was out for a few weeks and I want to stay in goal and play some games.”

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