‘It’s all about us’ is the message from the North End dressing room as they look to conquer the team at the summit for the second consecutive week.
Full back David Buchanan spoke to the official website to preview the trip to face Tommy Miller and Darren Ward’s County Ground outfit and said that despite what was going on in Wiltshire, they would not be distracted from getting the right result in Simon Grayson’s first game in charge of the Lilywhites.
The Rochdale-born left back returned to the side for the win over Eddie Howe’s Bournemouth at Deepdale last weekend and is looking to maintain that level of performance in front of a vociferous away following in Swindon on Saturday.
The 26-year-old defender told PNE.Com that the big away following expected was just a reaffirmation of why he agreed to join the Club back in July.
“I’ve said before many of times when I’ve been interviewed, one of the reasons I joined Preston North End Football Club was the fans – they are fantastic,” said the No.16. “They give us great support and deserve to have a football team that is in a much higher position in League One and they should be watching a team in a higher league, but credit to them.
“They have backed us this year when it has not been going so well. They have followed us all over the country and it just goes to show us as players what it means when they turn out in numbers like that. The more we win and the more attractive football we play, we know what type of people we have behind us, because they all want us to do well.”
North End face their first trip to Swindon for 28 years on Saturday, but Buchs says there is a lot of positives to take with them down the M6 and M5: “A lot went on last week and John came in and he just told us to relax and enjoy being at the training ground and he stressed that we play with freedom and go and pass the ball like we did at the start of the season and on Saturday it showed how we incorporated that, took it onto the pitch and got a fantastic result.
“The arrival of the new manager has given the whole place a lift. Knowing who the gaffer is, having him in place and knowing what he’s done at this level gives everybody a chance to impress again.
“When a new manager comes in the slate is wiped clean for everyone. The manager has already stressed this to the players and said that everyone will get a fair chance. He just wants us to play and build on the type of football we played last Saturday, because that’s the type of football he likes his team to play. He likes them to get the ball down, pass it, be comfortable on the ball and dominate possession in football matches and I think we’ve got the players at our Club to do that.
“We showed on Saturday that when we play that way, we will get more positive results than negative. It’s a style of football the players want to play and not only that, it’s what the fans want to see and last Saturday, after all the negativity that has gone and losing football matches, it was just a fantastic atmosphere to play in at Deepdale.
“And if we can keep winning football matches and move further up the table the noise will double, because there’ll be a lot more people in.”
The team face an in-form Swindon side, undefeated in their last dozen league matches, but the North End squad have fond memories of their last clash with the Robins and are not thinking about the issues they have faced in Wiltshire this week.
“Swindon was a great game for us,” continued the former Northern Ireland U21 international. “They came here on the back of a great win away at Stoke and the manager was talking about them ‘being like Barcelona’. They came to Preston that day and we were 4-1 winners and comfortable at that.
“Hopefully that’s a bit of an omen that we’ve got; turning over the teams at the top of the league.
“Swindon have just lost their manager, with Paolo Di Canio’s resignation, but they still went to Tranmere on Tuesday and got a fantastic result, so it is not going to be an easy task.
“They have got a lot of good players in their side and I am sure they’ll be looking for revenge for what we did to them earlier on in the season, but I am sure our fans who watched the game against Bournemouth will know what we are capable of.
“One of the things the new manager has stressed is that we should not worry about anyone else, we are just looking up the table now and that is important. The atmosphere in and around the training ground and out on the training pitch has been fantastic in the last week and I am just hoping that the squad and myself can build on that and get to 50 points as quickly as possible and see where that takes us from there,” he added.