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Lee: Lilywhites Will Fight Hard

4 August 2013

Holmes insists North End will try as hard as possible to beat Blackpool on Monday night, in the first match between the sides in three years.

Preston began their League One campaign with a 0-0 stalemate against Wolves on Saturday but now all attention turns to the derby match against the Seasiders.


All the talk around the City has been about the visit of Paul Ince’s side and Holmes made it clear that the Lilywhites will do all in their power to beat their neighbours from the Fylde coast.


“Everyone I chat to, it’s been very strange because no one was talking about Wolves, it’s all been about beating the boys from up the road,” he told PNE.Com.

“So everything has been said about that and even though it’s been something we’re looking forward to as well, there’s all these other things we’ve had to concentrate on.

“But tomorrow we’ll be fighting as hard as we possibly can to win the game and do one over on the locals.”

It will be the first time any of Simon Grayson’s squad have tasted the M55 derby but Lee was quick to point out that the passion of the fans towards the game has filtered through to the players.

“I think it’s the rivalry between the fans, the passion that everyone feels towards this one game of the year, whatever club you’re at you’ve always got that one game that your passionate about,” he said.

“To see the passion that the fans have created, it transfers onto the players, we know how important this game is.

“You want to win every game but this game especially means something to us personally and the fans.

“The rivalry is massive and whoever wins tomorrow will get bragging rights, so we’ll be doing everything possible to ensure Preston have that.”

The winger has played in numerous high profile derbies in the past and admits that, while it might be hard for some players to immerse themselves in the rivalries to begin with, it’s only a matter of time before they gain a clear understanding of the importance of the game.

“You play in the Nottingham derby, Portsmouth, Southampton and they’re massive but until you actually get in the area and find out how big they are, you take it for granted that they’re just another derby but actually there is a fierce rivalry and a real competitive one,” he added.

“I think the league tables aren’t in our favour at the minute but this one way we get to put one on them and we’ll certainly be doing that.”

Monday’s match will be broadcast live on Sky TV and Holmes believes it will provide the perfect opportunity for PNE to showcase their intent to the rest of the country.

“We want to carry on how we finished last season, I think on Saturday we showed in patches what we can do,” he added.

“Defensively and attacking wise it was massive towards the end of the game, it stuck in my mind that there were five lads tracking back 70 or 80 yards in the dying seconds of the game to keep a clean sheet and that means a lot.

“I think that’s what we’ve got character wise in the dressing room and I think taking that on to show it on sky and everyone in the league what we’re about and every time that come to Deepdale it’s going to be a tough game for them.”

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