Goalkeeper Steve Simonsen is set for a first in his long career – playing a competitive game on a Thursday!
The 33-year-old custodian spoke to PNE.Com ahead of the trip to the Ricoh Arena, the Club’s second in the space of two and a half weeks, and was looking forward to a career first.
“I can’t think of any other Thursday night, throughout my career, that I have played a competitive game on, so it will be something different,” he told the official website.
“It is a good occasion to be involved in. We are three games away from a show piece final and we will be giving it our all.”
North End know all about their opponents in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy, although both sides have had a few changes in personnel since the clash three days before the festive holiday.
“We play them three times in five weeks, with the way the fixtures have fallen, so we know each other quite well,” continued the South Shield-born stopper.
“We had a tough game down there just before Christmas, so we know what to expect, but if we go down there and approach it with the right attitude, and learn a bit from the game just before Christmas, I am sure we’ll put on a good show.
“David McGoldrick will be a big miss for them, because he really set the place alight when he went there. He scored a lot of goals and was a big influence on the results they had prior to Christmas.
“But we have added to our fire power [with Joe Garner] and hopefully that will stand us in good stead for the game.”
The former Stoke City keeper returned to the side for the first game of 2013 up in his native north east and looks set for his third game in three different competitions in the opening ten days of the new year.
“It is always nice to be back in the side. It is always disappointing when you are not in the side, but that’s the way football is.
“But it is nice to be back in the side and we just need to put a run together now. We want to stay in the JPT and bump ourselves up the league a bit.
“It is quite tight in there and we are not far away from the Play-Offs. We will take it one step at a time, but we have a good run of games coming up now and hopefully we can get some good points out of them,” he added.