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Humph: Don’t Underestimate Blades

19 September 2013

Chris Humphrey says North End cannot take a positive result for granted against Sheffield United on Saturday, despite the Blades’ poor early season form.

The Lilywhites have won three league games in a row, scoring eight and conceding just one goal - climbing to fifth place in the table in the process.

The Blades, meanwhile, have failed to win since the opening day of the season and are currently in the relegation zone, alongside the likes of Notts County, Bristol City and Gillingham.

However, Humphrey insists that - while North End will travel to Bramall Lane in high spirits - they cannot underestimate David Weir’s side.

“We go there full of confidence and the thing is, people are saying they’re not doing very well but that doesn’t matter because football teams can turn it on at any time,” he told PNE.Com in an exclusive interview.

“They’ve got great players there, my friend Jamie Murphy is there as well, I don’t know if he’s injured but it’ll be nice to see him again.

“Hopefully we can go there and get a result and keep the unbeaten run going.”

North End have kept a remarkable five clean sheets so far this season and continue to play attractive football under Simon Grayson.

The Lilywhites have overcome arch rivals Blackpool, a defiant former manager and Walsall’s 16 home game unbeaten run already this campaign and, after those triumphs, Humphrey believes they have little else to fear.

“I think that, with the way we’re playing and the way we’re defending, there’s no one in this league that we should be frightened of,” he said,

“Collectively as a team and as a squad we’re very good and I’m really enjoying my time here.”

The 26-year-old winger was away for the majority of last week while on international duty with Jamaica, and he admits it was an enjoyable experience to link up with his country.

“It was good, I met some new faces from when I last got called up,” he said.

“I really enjoyed it and this time I felt welcomed by the new staff that were there and it felt good.

“There was about ten or 11 of us travelling so we all had the banter on the plane on the way and on the way back because we got a couple of decent results.

“It made it better as well so everyone seemed happy so we’ll have to see what happens in the next games.”

Humphrey was part of a Jamaica squad that travelled to Panama, and the former Motherwell midfielder was clearly taken aback by what he experienced on his visit to Central America.

“It’s an unbelievable country,” he said.

“It was quite frightening actually when we were leaving the airports, we got an escort to the hotel, police with machine guns and all that sort of stuff.

“Apart from that we don’t really get to go out and see the shops but from what you see driving about it looks really nice.”

Upon his return to Preston, Humphrey was greeted with a tasty fixture against former North End boss Graham Westley’s Stevenage side.

PNE’s quality shined through during the match, which concluded with a satisfying victory for the players, and the 25-year-old says he could feel the tension in the build-up to the game.

“Whether you’re here or not, you hear things every day, what used to happen, what used to go on and the gaffer, before the game, saying ‘don’t pay the occasion, play for yourselves’,” Humph said.

“Being around the lads and being around them since pre-season, you kind of get that buzz and you don’t want to let them down as well.

“I thought we were, especially in the second half, very good.”

Once more, North End’s No. 7 was deployed in a right wing back slot for the match against the Boro, and he claims it is a position he thoroughly enjoys playing in.

“Everyone asks whether I like it and I think I actually prefer it to a 4-4-2 or a right winger because you’re always facing forward and you’ve got more of the pitch to run with,” he explained

“So I enjoy playing that role, yes you’ve got to be fit, you have to keep running but I really do enjoy playing in that position.”

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