Jack King is looking for Preston North End to bounce back against Carlisle United on Boxing Day following Saturday’s disappointing defeat to Brentford.
The Lilywhites suffered only their third defeat of the Sky Bet League One season at the weekend and King is looking for a response at Brunton Park.
“It is going to be a difficult game against Carlisle, they are on a good run of form and it is always a tough place to go,” said King.
“They class it as a derby, so it is a tough game.
“There will be a good atmosphere and like most games in this league, if you underperform on the day, you are going to get rolled over and we need to bounce back from Saturday.
“It wasn’t good enough and we need a reaction.
“That result didn’t sit well with us, it was a big game and we underperformed and when you underperform, that kind of result is going to happen.
“Having said that, we still thought there were points in the game when we could have nicked something out of it; probably didn’t really deserve it, but we have got to put that right Thursday.
“It is about how you bounce back, we have bounced back very well this season; that is only our third loss in the league, so we will need to go again.
“Our form has been really good away from home, it is probably something to do with the way we play, we are a big, strong, solid team.
“We are generally hard to break down, even when teams come at us; we exploit that, so hopefully we can do that again Boxing Day and start picking up some better results.”
It has been a few weeks of frustration for the North End No.22 of late, as he continued to deal with a foot injury picked up in pre-season.
But the versatile, at present central defender, is hoping that a two week rest will have him fighting fit for the rest of the 2013/14 campaign.
He continued: “I have been really enjoying playing centre half, we haven’t conceded too many goals and when you are playing there, to keep cleansheets is always a positive, the results have been fairly good since I did come back, so I am enjoying it.
“It is a position I feel like I can adapt to pretty well, I have still got a lot to learn when I play there but I do feel comfortable.
“Having played midfield for most of my career, I am fairly used to handling the ball under pressure situations, so when you do get it at the back, you tend to have a bit more time and a bit more space to pick your pass and hopefully that is something I can bring to the team.
“The season has been a bit stop-start for me with the recurrence of my foot injury, it was pretty unexpected.
“I had no new problems through my comeback and I played five or six games, but then it showed up again against Bristol City.
“Things are going ok now, I have had a couple of weeks rest on it and it has settled down, hopefully I can now continue to be fit for the rest of the season.
“We had a look at the footage of the Bristol City game; I think I did it about 15 minutes into the game.
“It appears I went up for a header and landed awkwardly on the side of my foot, right on where the fracture is, so that is possibly when I injured myself.
“The Deepdale pitch is very hard underneath, the surface is superb, but underneath it is very hard and it is very well drained and that could have been one of the causes.
“When I first did it against Rochdale, I knew I was going to be out for some time, so you can get your head around it, it is the recurring ones, when you are back in the treatment room when you thought you wouldn’t be seeing it again for a long time, it does get you down a bit, but hopefully these two weeks will have benefited me.
“I have done my rehab again and hopefully I will have no problems for the rest of the season.”
Preston will head to Cumbria backed by a 1,700 following – after the Club sold out of Boxing Day tickets with over three days of sales still to go.
And King is hoping to give the North End faithful a belated Christmas present of three points.
“Our travelling away fans this season have been superb,” added King.
“They have really travelled in numbers and generally we have sent them away pretty happy, so long may that continue and hopefully we can get the right result again on Boxing Day.”