Tuesday’s stand in skipper Keith Keane is ready for the side to pick up their first three points of the season this weekend against Walsall.
The 26-year-old was chosen by manager Simon Grayson to lead the team out for Tuesday’s cup tie at Turf Moor and he admits being honoured to be given the armband.
"It is always a privilege to be captain and it’s a privilege to be captain for Preston, I enjoyed it very much,” he told PNE.Com.
“It was a surprise to be honest, but I thoroughly enjoyed it and it was a real privilege.”
The No.2 is one of a few first team players to have started every game of the 2013/14 season so far, and he believes it is down to his hard work on the training ground and in matches.
“It is obviously a confidence boost, it means I must be doing okay if the manager keeps playing me, that is all I do, I work hard in training every day and all I can do is give it 100 per cent in games.
“If I’m doing enough the manager will keep picking me and at the minute he has, so I am just going to keep giving it my best and hopefully I will stay in the team,” he continued.
For Tuesday’s fixture, there were six changes to the side that played Coventry the previous weekend and the competition for places is getting stronger with various players proving their ability when given the opportunity. Keane knows the fight for first team places is positive, as it means every player has to be at their best.
“To be honest it is crazy at the minute, you know that if you’re not at the top of your game or if you’re not playing well that you can be out of the squad and out of the team like that and someone is ready to step in and take your place.
“You could find yourself out of the team for a number of weeks so you’ve got to stay sharp and make sure that you’re playing to the best of your ability every game, so it is good.”
The team find themselves with a slightly longer recovery and preparation period this week ahead of the Walsall clash, having played two games in three days, it is important for the players to get this break between matches.
“It is not easy playing two games in three days, it is always going to make you a bit tired after that, so it is nice to have a bit of a break and the more days you have off the more rest you can get in and the better you can prepare for games so it can only benefit us having an extra day.”
Though the team are yet to win a game in the league, the side have not yet lost and will be looking to start getting wins on the board starting this weekend. The mood around the training ground is still as positive as it has been and the players are looking at the bigger picture.
“The bigger picture is that we are still unbeaten in the league," continued the former Luton man. "As bad as we played on the Sunday - and I think we were terrible to be honest - we still came away with a draw so I think we have to take positives from that and I think the main positives are that we are undefeated.
“We still haven’t played to the best that we can so if we are not playing well and getting draws then I’m sure that when we do start playing to our best we will start picking up the wins.”
Walsall are up near the Play-Off positions again already this season, and although it is early days, they will be hoping to go one better than last year, when they narrowly missed out on a top six finish. Keane, meanwhile, admits that every game is just as important and it is all about winning games, regardless of where the teams are in the league.
“I think every game, any team we are playing, we need to be looking to win. Walsall were a very good team last season, which they showed against us twice, I think they outplayed us both times from what I’m hearing, this it’s going to be a very tough game Saturday.
“But I’m sure we are going to be prepared for that and we will make sure that we are ready for them and we are going to be doing our best to make sure we do better against them this time and hopefully pick up the three points.”