Declan Rudd believes North End owe it to their fans to get their first home league win of the season, when they take on Oldham Athletic on Monday evening.
The Lilywhites are yet to enjoy a victory at Deepdale in League One, after drawing against Wolves and MK Dons in their first two home fixtures, and the 23-year-old thinks it's time the Preston supporters witnessed a win at their own ground.
“We owe that to them, they’ve been travelling away in numbers and the home crowds have been up from last year,” Dec told PNE.Com in an exclusive interview.
“We owe them a win so hopefully that can come on Monday night.”
The Latics were busy in the recent transfer window, signing the likes of Genseric Kusunga from FC Basel and Danny Philliskirk from Coventry City, and - following the influx of new recruits at Boundary Park - Rudd expects a difficult match against Lee Johnson’s side
“It’s going to be a tough game, they’re quite a strong team,” he added.
“They’ve made a few decent signings and obviously with it being a local derby it’s going to be a tough game.
“I think they’ve replaced the lads they’ve let go, they’ve always been a tough team, they gave us a tough game here last year and I’m sure it’ll be another tough game on Monday.”
After their 3-0 win over Walsall last weekend, the Lilywhites now have the opportunity to bag their first back-to-back victories of the 2013/14 campaign – something the England U21 international thinks is vital for the team to achieve.
“That’s the aim, to get out of the league you need to win games,” Dec continued.
“We’ve played five and only won one so we haven’t really done what we set to achieve yet, it would be good to follow up last Saturday’s game with a win and climb even higher up the league.”
Coverage of the match against Oldham starts at 7.30pm, live on Sky Sports, though North End's No. 23 does not expect the cameras to have any effect on the outcome of the game.
“Obviously, there’s a lot more people watching but at the end of the day it’s a game of football and whether it’s on TV or not, or whether there’s no fans there or 20,000 fans there it’s still a game of football that needs to be won,” he said.
“At the end of the day you can’t really think about what’s going on, on the TV or whatever, you just need to remember that you need to get three points from the game so that’s what we’ll set out to do.”
By the time the Lilywhites line-up against the Latics, Simon Grayson’s side will have had nine days to rest and recuperate, following that 3-0 win at Banks’s Stadium on Saturday.
And, while Rudd believes the North End squad will have benefitted from the break physically, he insists they have been desperate to get back onto the pitch after their success against the Saddlers.
“I think it works in two ways, you get more time to recover and work on what needs to be worked on, on the training pitch,” he said.
“But after the game on Saturday we were hoping we would have a game sooner because you want to keep that roll going but I’m sure it won’t make a difference, I’m sure we’ll still go out there and give it our best.”