North End defender Bailey Wright is expecting a tough game this weekend when he and his team-mates travel to London Road to face second placed Peterborough United.
The 21-year-old is full of confidence as the team are looking to build on the impressive start to the season. With five wins in five games, and still unbeaten in the league, the squad are continuing to improve game by game.
“It’s a good confidence booster for us all, especially as we have had some great results since the start of the season and some good performances as well,” he told PNE.Com.
“The performance at the weekend was probably one of our better ones this season so that is something to build on as well as the good result.”
This weekend’s top of the table clash with Peterborough will see Bailey come up against former manager Darren Ferguson. He is the only player in the current squad who played under Ferguson during his tenure at Deepdale, and he was given his first chance at first team football under the Scot when he was given his debut back in 2010.
“He was the manager who gave me my pro contract back then and gave me a few chances to play as well, so I will always remember that and had some good times when he was here as well and enjoyed my football.
“Obviously now I have played a lot more games since then and probably established myself a bit more, but I am still looking to improve as much as I have done since then,” he added.
Peterborough have also made an impressive start to the League One campaign having won seven of their first nine games leaving them second in the table. With the Lilywhites hoping to have a successful season in League One, beating the teams who will be competing at the top of the table could be pivotal.
“Games like this are your chance to get away from them or get up there with teams, like Peterborough who are second, so obviously to get past them you’ve got to beat them.
“So games like this are very important, it is a tough place to go, we all know that, it won’t be easy, but we are all preparing ourselves to get the result.”
Ferguson’s side will be without striker Lee Tomlin who is out with a leg injury, which is a blow for them, but the Aussie defender doesn’t think this will impact the game.
“It’s always going to still be a difficult game, I mean one injury to any team that has got a good squad shouldn’t really make much of a difference.
“I would like to think we are the same, when we have an injury to us we should have someone who can step in and do just as good a job, so I don’t think it will make too much difference. I think they have got plenty of good players all over the park, as do we so it’s not going to make any difference really.”
It should be an entertaining game with both sides having scored plenty of goals already this season, but Wright will be hoping that it is only his team-mates that are doing the scoring.
“They have scored a few goals this year and they have been known for their goalscoring I suppose; but they have conceded as well so it should be a good game and obviously we will do our best.
“We want to keep a clean sheet there and go and win, that’s how we go about most games, but we will just have to wait and see.”
As a defender clean sheets are important to Wright, but he has also proved he can be just as effective at the other end of the pitch, winning the goal of the month for August.
“First and foremost I hope to get a clean sheet in games, but obviously goalscoring is something I try to add to my game as well.
“I would love to score as many goals as I can, but my main focus is defending and keeping that clean sheet.”
Another defender that has proved himself in the first team is Scott Laird, who has improved game by game since returning from injury. He was nominated for the League One Player of the Month award along with manager Simon Grayson who has been nominated for manager of the month.
“It’s no surprise to any of us lads here that they have both been nominated for the awards. Lairdy has been brilliant since he has come into the team, since he has been in I think we have won every single game since. So it’s a credit to him and obviously he has had a tough few months with his broken leg last year.
“And credit to the gaffer as well, obviously he is really enjoying our time here and he is getting noticed for all the work he is doing here, which is good to see.”