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Keane: Confidence Is Key To Victory

12 September 2013

Keith Keane hopes North End can go into Saturday’s match against Stevenage with confidence, after the way in which they have won their previous two games.

PNE beat Walsall 3-0 at Banks’s stadium 12 days ago, and followed that up with a hard-fought 2-1 victory over Oldham on Monday evening at Deepdale.

“Hopefully it should breathe confidence into the lads that played really well against Walsall and won,” Keane told PNE.Com in an exclusive interview.

“We didn’t play so well at Oldham but still got the win, so hopefully it’ll breathe a bit of confidence into the lads and we can take that into Saturday’s game and get the win.

“If you’re able to not play well and still get the three points, then you think that when you do actually play well, you can get more wins than not.”

Despite the high morale those victories have brought to the squad, the 26-year-old insists this weekend’s match against Stevenage will prove difficult.

However, the midfielder is certain the Lilywhites will do all in their power to win their third game in a row in League One.

“It’s going to be another tough game, there are no easy games in this league,” Keane said.

“We’re just going to have to make sure we prepare right and make sure we turn up and give it our best to come away with the three points.”

The return of Chris Humphrey from international duty gives Simon Grayson an extra option in the wide positions.

And Keane is pleased that the winger will be available for selection for the Stevenage match because he believes the Jamaican adds an extra dimension to the Preston attack.

“It gives us another option, he can naturally play the right wing back role, if the manager wants to go with 3-5-2,” he said.

“He if he doesn’t, he just adds more quality to the team and is a very good player.”

Kevin Davies and Stuart Beavon both scored their first goals of the season against Oldham to secure North End’s first home victory of the 2013/14 campaign.

The duo formed a deadly partnership on Monday evening, linking up well with each other - as well as their supporting midfielders - when they got the chance.

Playing as a screen in front of the back four, Keane didn’t have as much contact with the forwards as others, but even he could feel the relief after they had hit the back of the net.

“That’s always the way for strikers at the start of the season, if they don’t score in the first game, they probably feel like it’s a monkey on their back,” he said.

“But the tendency is, once they get that first goal, the weight’s been lifted off their shoulders, and hopefully it can lead to more.”

Simon Grayson is yet to field the same starting XI twice so far this season and, with almost a full squad to choose from, Keane admits no player can rest of their laurels ahead of Stevenage’s visit 

“Apart from Kingy, everyone’s here, we’ve got a very good squad,” he said

“At the minute I’m sure the manager has got a lot of headaches about who to pick because on the training ground the lads are playing well, training well.

“So, at the moment, the starting XI can’t get comfy because if you’re not playing well you could be straight out of the team.

“There’s loads of players that are desperate to be playing as well so it makes the people on the pitch make sure they’re worth that shirt and it can only benefit the team.”

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