Scoring an early goal against Notts County this weekend could be vital, according to Preston midfielder Josh Brownhill.
The Lilywhites travel to Meadow Lane on Saturday to take on the Magpies, following the 2-2 draw against Bradford City on Tuesday evening at Deepdale.
Chris Kiwomya’s side currently sit second-bottom in League One, but Brownhill does not expect an easy game, especially in the wake of County’s improved home form.
“We’re not expecting it to be a walkover, especially when you play a team away like Notts County, who have had some good results,” he told PNE.Com in an exclusive interview.
“We just need to make sure we get an early goal and then build on that.”
He added: “Once we get that early goal then they’re going to have to come out and it will open up more gaps. Then hopefully we can score a lot more goals.”
Notts County have kept just two clean sheets in the league all season, which will be music to the ears of North End’s strike force.
But Brownhill insists that, if the Magpies defenders are on top of their game – as they were against Tranmere and Crewe in their last two home fixtures in League One – then the Lilywhites may find it difficult to break them down.
“It’s great news for the forwards that they’re not keeping clean sheets,” he said.
“But, like I say, if they can be on their game and their defence is on form then it’s going to be hard to score against them.”
North End’s opponents are billed as the oldest Football League club in the world and Brownhill is looking forward to playing against a team with such history.
“It’s good to be playing teams with a bit of history like that, with them being the oldest football club,” the midfielder said.
“But they’re a good side as well so it’ll be a good game to play in.”
The 17-year-old academy graduate was put through North End’s traditional initiation process last weekend, ahead of the 2-1 win over Gillingham.
New players are asked to prepare a song, which they then must perform in front of the entire squad and coaching staff.
Brownhill decided to sing ‘Bump n’ Grind’ by American R&B artist R. Kelly and it is an experience he does not wish to repeat anytime in the near future.
“It’s probably one of the most nerve wracking things I’ve ever done and it was the hardest minute of my life,” Josh said of his experience.
“But after that it’s great knowing I don’t have to do it again and knowing that I’ve bedded into the first team.
“There was a bit of banter, I’m not the best singer going but after it was fine and I’m just glad I got it over and done with.”