Scott Laird insists that he and the rest of his teammates are looking to prove a point to themselves against Gillingham on Saturday.
North End make the long journey south on Saturday for a tricky encounter against the League Two champions from last season and the wing back believes that early season high standards need to be reached again.
Speaking exclusively to PNE.Com, Laird said: “This will be another tough game in League One against a good Gillingham side who have recently had a change of manager so they are going to be wanting to prove a point to him, but we are also wanting to prove a point to ourselves and everyone around the Club because we have had three not very good results by our standards.
“As a player, we are going to go there and give everything we have got to try and beat a good Gillingham side and we have got to be right on our mettle to do that.
“We have got to be picking up points now and it is a great time to go there and try and pick up three points.
“There is no easy three points in this league, I can assure you of that, there is no game you can go into and think that’s a banker three points.
“Every game we have got to be right on our mettle, maybe we haven’t the last three games but teams have come here and done a good job on us, Crewe especially on Saturday came here and sat behind the ball and it was a different problem for us.
“We haven’t faced that this season and it is something we have learned and now we can take that on to our next game, so if people do that to us then we know how to handle it better.”
Since their last match, the Gills have parted company with Martin Allen who has been replaced by the experienced Peter Taylor on an interim basis.
And despite the caution that usually comes when facing teams after a management change, Laird remains focused on the job in hand for PNE rather than what the hosts are doing.
“I think in any walk of life, when a new boss comes in you want to impress,” continued the Lilywhites’ No.3.
“Some people have got different agendas, some people want to impress to get new contracts, some people want to impress to get in the team who probably haven’t been playing and some players might not like the new manager who comes in, so there is a lot of agendas going on, but we have got to go there and focus on doing what we know we can do and play for 90 minutes and get the right result.”
In every match Preston North End have been involved in this season, the team who has scored first has went on to win the game, a pattern that Laird recognises from previous experience.
“It is important to start well in games,” continued the Scot.
“My old Club I was at, we went on a big run and every time we scored first we didn’t lose for about two years and it is a big thing.
“You can’t think about that and go gung-ho and leave yourself open, but it is a big thing.
“It’s not something you go into a game thinking we have got to score the first goal and then panicking and rushing things.
“It is good to get the first goal because it settles you down and brings them out and they more or less have to attack and you can counter attack them, but even if you go a goal down you have got to be working hard and we have got enough in this squad to score goals.”
With the players well versed in long journeys, a hike to Kent on Saturday is not something that will faze the squad, who will stick to their usual pre-match routine for away trips of travelling on the Friday, a hazard that comes part and parcel with the rigorous of being a professional footballer.
Laird added: “Being a professional, we have done long journeys for many years and we know how to handle ourselves and prepare ourselves.
“We will be training tomorrow and getting ourselves down to Gillingham and getting rested up for Saturday.
“It is another good away trip for us, one of our longer ones, that and Crawley, but it is good to sometimes play away because they are not at your ground.
“They don’t come to us and sit back, they are going to be at home and wanting to come at us and we are going to have to combat that and counter attack them.”