North End’s on loan custodian is hoping to impress his third manager in ten days in order to start against the league leaders this weekend.
The loaned Canary started Graham Westley’s last game and retained his place as John Dreyer selected the side for the Lilywhites’ 2-0 win over then table-toppers Bournemouth, but with the appointment of Simon Grayson as PNE boss, he admits it is a case of proving himself again ahead of the trip to Swindon.
The England U21 international stopper kept a clean sheet against the Cherries as the shackles were taken off at Deepdale last weekend; the Diss-born man admitting he had very little to do due to the work going on in front of him.
“John choosing to play me was great and made me feel really confident going into the game,” the 22-year-old exclusively told PNE.Com. “Then the ten lads in front of me on Saturday were unbelievable. The work rate and effort they put into the game was brilliant and I didn’t really have anything to do because they worked so hard and they put the effort in. The ten lads, plus the lads that came on, were a credit to themselves and to the Club, because it was a brilliant performance.
“The win on Saturday did instil all the confidence and belief that you need and that performance was excellent. The lads have been given a big lift, whether they played or didn’t play. The team is capable of achieving that level and the work rate they put in shows how hard they are willing to work to achieve where we want to be.”
This weekend could see his third start for PNE under three different managers, but that isn’t changing the way he is doing anything: “Graham Westley brought me in, but then he left and we had John take over for the game against Bournemouth and then since then the new gaffer has come in, so there’ve been a few changes, but I’ve enjoyed the first few weeks that I’ve been here and we got our first win on Saturday, so that was good and enjoyable – it’s a good club to be at.
“You don’t know if you are going to take the liking of the new managers, but you just have to be yourself, train hard and if the manager likes what he sees, he will pick you.
“It is hard trying to impress three different people in a short amount of time, but it doesn’t change anything. You still train as hard as you can, you still do your best and it is then up to the manager who he picks and go from there.
“The intensity hasn’t changed too much. When I first came I realised how hard the lads worked in training. They work very hard and it was a surprise to see how high the intensity was and how big the workload was. It was good to be part of that.
“The lads of got that ingrained in them and the whole set of lads work their hardest every day and since I’ve been here I haven’t seen one lad who has taken his foot off the gas because they all seem to want to work as hard as they can and improve. Nothing has really changed in that department.”
For the second consecutive Saturday afternoon, the Lilywhites go toe-to-toe with the side sitting pretty at the summit of npower League One, but this is a motivation rather than a fear for team according to the No.23.
“Sometimes this is the best thing, because it makes sure you are on your toes and you know you are going to somewhere where it will be a tough game.
“You have to ensure you do everything right in terms of preparation and the game. It’s a big game and it’s one to look forward to. It’s a good opportunity for the lads to take last Saturday’s game and put it into practice again.
“The quality in the side was evident against Bournemouth. It is a really good group of players; really hard-working with quality and it shows that if we are right on the day, we can take any team on and I don’t think any of the lads are scared, whoever we are playing.
“You have to go out there and win a game of football, whether you are playing top of the league or bottom of the league it doesn’t matter, you still have to set your levels high and try and win the game.
“The managerial change at Swindon doesn’t play a part in what we have to do. Whether Di Canio was still there or not doesn’t make any difference to us, because the players are still the same out on the pitch. We have to go out there and put a performance out like we did last Saturday and get the best result we can.”