Will Hayhurst is thriving on his new found confidence.
The young winger has been exceptional of late for the Lilywhites and he believes that new manager Simon Grayson has helped him develop his game more and now he is reaping the benefits.
Speaking exclusively to PNE.Com, Hayhurst said: “I am feeling very, very confident at the moment and obviously you want to be confident and hopefully things go right for you and I think being more confident will help me out a lot in games, to get at players and realise that I can do it and hopefully I can keep building on this.
“The manager has just put a lot of belief in me being a young lad.
“He has just said, ‘Go and believe in yourself, go and attack defenders, work hard for the team, get round the back post’, and I feel like I am doing that.
“I know I have got a lot to learn, but I think I am getting more shots away, more crosses in and I am being more confident in the final third which is good and he has told me to just believe in myself and to not worry about giving the ball away, which is great for me to hear.”
The North End No.24 is in red hot goalscoring form at present, after finding the net in his last three matches.
In the Lilywhites 2-0 victory over Stevenage on Saturday, Hayhurst was joined on the score sheet by fellow winger Lee Holmes, who netted for the first time at Deepdale.
And the extra support from the wide areas to the strikers, is something that both wingers have been working on in training.
“I have been working a lot on getting round at the back post and I have started to get some goals out of that and I am getting more confident and getting more shots away and I feel a lot better,” said the youngster.
“Obviously Lee [Holmes] is creating all my goals now so I am delighted with that and I think he has been absolutely fantastic and I am delighted for him to score his goal and hopefully he can keep doing that for us.”
Recent weeks have seen a more settled starting eleven take to the field for PNE, with minimum changes in personnel, as North End try to find a consistency that had previously lacked, a consistency which Hayhurst believes is key to the teams recent improvement.
“I think we have got a very strong squad and I think consistency is good for us and people know what they are doing and the gaffer has said that if you are playing well, then you’re going to keep your place, so we have been doing well and hopefully they can keep their places and keep building,” continued the 19-year-old.
North End take their recent undefeated streak to the County Ground on Tuesday and Hayhurst is hoping that the promise shown in recent away games continues.
“It will be a tough game away but we have played really well, got a good result against Swindon and MK Dons and I thought we deserved a lot more, so hopefully we can go to Notts County and put in another good performance and take away the three points.”
As well as looking sharp in attack of late, North End have seen a steeliness appear in their defensive quarters, with bodies being put on the line a testament to the determination to succeed, a trait which has not gone unnoticed by the more forward minded Hayhurst.
He continued: “We have worked through a lot of things and I think people know what to do, Hunts [Paul Huntington] has come back into the team and has been absolutely outstanding, Bailey [Wright] has been magnificent all year and I think he is a great player for us and Buchs [David Buchanan] and Conns [Paul Connolly] have been fantastic as well.
“I love playing in front of Buchs, we have a great partnership going and I think we are growing as each game goes on which I am delighted with.”