With North End’s wide players all impressing of late, Will Hayhurst couldn’t be happier as the job of holding down a starting berth becomes more difficult.
In recent matches, Hayhust and Lee Holmes have been given the nod over Jeffrey Monakana in terms of starting matches, but with Holmes missing out on Tuesday and a doubt for Saturday through injury; and Monakana impressing from the bench lately, the club appear to be benefiting greatly from the intense competition.
Speaking exclusively to PNE.Com, Hayhurst said: “The competition makes you perform even more.
“On the training pitch you always want to be the best one and people drive you to be better and hopefully you can feel like you are helping to make them better and Jeff has come in and been fantastic and done well.
“His work rate has been brilliant as well and thankfully he has done well to win the penalty against Oldham and has made a good impact.”
This Saturday North End head north to tackle Carlisle United and the winger is eager for Preston’s good recent run to continue with contributions being made by all areas of the team.
“On Saturday we want to just keep going and performing well and keeping up how well we are doing as a team and obviously we want to go and take the three points and keep building,” added Hayhurst.
“We want to win every game until the end of the season, so hopefully we can go and do that on Saturday.
“It gives us great confidence knowing how good the defence is.
“We can’t go into games thinking we can always keep a clean sheet, but I feel confident that we can keep a clean sheet with how well we are playing as a team.
“We are working hard and all across the back four and Dec [Rudd] they have been absolutely magnificent and they are always putting their bodies on the line to keep it out and that runs through the whole team.
“If they are going to put their bodies on the line I think the attacking lads should do as well so it has worked very well.”
“It will be a different game to the last time with us being away.
“I think they played well against us at Deepdale and obviously the had Joe [Garner] and he scored the penalty, I thought Joe played really well that night so hopefully we can go there and take the three points and put in a good performance.
“It is a massive derby for them, so we are going to go into the game playing how we are and giving our all and hopefully we can perform well, be on top of them and get the three points and get a few goals as well and keep a clean sheet.”
The Lilywhites’ 19-year-old grabbed the second goal of the game against Oldham at Deepdale in midweek after winning a foot race with the Latics defence when goalkeeper Dean Bouzanis was caught up-field for a corner, but the youngster has shared the credit with a few of his teammates.
Speaking about the final moments of that game he continued: “It was a nervous time in the game and they were getting a lot of corners and they had a good delivery and I thought the lads put their bodies on the line exceptionally well as they have done all season.
“I think it was Hunts [Paul Huntington] than won the header and it was an absolutely fantastic header.
“To be honest, it is just as good as a goal and I have tried nicking the ball before Bailey [Wright] but I was giving him the credit because he has been giving me a bit of stick saying he is quicker than me, so he has got there and thankfully I got the goal after.
“I started to slow down a bit and he almost caught me [the defender], I was tiring and I saw him out the corner of my eye catching me up and I thought it was about time I finished it so thankfully it went in.”
The PNE No.24 also singled out the Lilywhites fans for special praise after being impressed with the atmosphere generated at Deepdale on Tuesday and with around 1,000 expected at Brunton Park, he is looking forward to playing in a special atmosphere once again.
“The away fans have been magnificent, as have the home fans as well, so the support has been excellent and it is magnificent to have that kind of support in League One,” stated Will.
“It helps us a lot in the games hearing the fans and they are never quiet as well, so it is great to hear them and hopefully we can pick up the three points for them as well.”