Will Hayhurst couldn’t have been happier following his performance against Port Vale from the bench in Tuesday’s 2-0 win.
The winger was a second half substitution for the Lilywhites and his impact was huge as he broke away with fellow substitute Keith Keane to win the penalty for Preston’s second goal of the game.
Discussing his part in that move and his overall performance in an exclusive interview with PNE.Com, Hayhurst said: “I just nicked the ball from the edge of the box from their corner and the gaffer said ‘get up there but help out Scott Laird as well’, so I have broken and Keith Keane has done fantastic to support me and he has played a good ball through and I have drawn the ‘keeper out and won a penalty which I am delighted with.
“I want to add more assists to my game and more goals and I am delighted that I helped the team and Joe Garner put it away magnificently.
“I have been keeping fit when I have not been in the team and not on the bench but I feel fresh and ready to come on.
“The staff are improving me and I feel like I am improving myself physically and mentally and obviously the football side, so I am delighted to be a part of it.
“I have been working hard mentality to not get my head down and it has worked.
“I think when I did go out the side I did get my head down and I started to struggle, but I have got my head right and worked hard in training and every day in training I feel like I have improved.
“The last few weeks I have been back on the bench and I have come on tonight and hopefully I have performed well so I am delighted.
“I am always ready to help out the team.
“I think we can play numerous amounts of formations and I will play anywhere to be on the pitch, but I just wanted to help out.
“We have got some fantastic players in my position, you have got Lee Holmes, Chris Humphrey and Paul Gallagher and it is hard, but whenever I am called upon I am delighted to help and give my all and hopefully I did that tonight and impressed.”
Summarising the game as a whole, the winger believes that the team deserve credit for the way they dealt with the adversity of being reduced to ten men after 13 minutes, in particular their performance from a defensive stand point.
“Defensively we were superb; it is credit to how we have been playing when we have been away from home,” added Hayhurst.
“That is the fourth win in a row away and hopefully we can find that at home and get some wins there, but the away form has been fantastic.
“I think credit to the lads, we didn’t let the sending off bother us and I thought we were the better team throughout.
“It was a great night to be involved in and the fans were excellent.
“When I was warming up they didn’t stop singing the whole game and at the end they were fantastic, so it was a great night for us.”
As mentioned by the PNE No.24, victory overall Port Vale was the Lilywhites’ fourth on the bounce away from Deepdale and the youngster believes that a togetherness in training and on the pitch is the recipe for this current success.
He continued: “I just think everyone has been listening in training and doing their jobs right.
“We are playing for each other, defending for our lives and creating chances.
“Everyone who steps out on that pitch wants to work for each other and we are together as a bunch of players and a staff and it is great to be a part of it.”