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‘We Need The Fans’

10 April 2014

Tom Clarke insists that he and his team-mates need the full backing of the North End faithful, as the promotion push continues against Carlisle United on Saturday.

The Cumbrians make the trip south to face the Lilywhites, who have won consecutive home matches against Peterborough United and Crawley Town respectively.

And Clarke told PNE.Com that the fans will be key as the team look to build momentum in the run in.

“You want to be hitting good form, especially at home in front of your own fans; we are going to need them this last few games definitely,” said the North End defender when discussing PNE’s form at Deepdale.

“We have now picked up some good home wins and hopefully we can carry that on.

“Momentum is definitely important if we are to be in the Play-Offs, I know going into them, you want to be in there on form and the two semi-final games are two cup finals and anything can happen.

“But if you go into them with confidence, I think that is a major start.

“You are just going into the games, like I say, as two cup finals and no one is going to win anything in the first game and it is very important to make sure we get what we want in terms of home and away.”

Carlisle arrive at Deepdale in desperate need of the three points as they look to stave off the threat of relegation.

But Preston need the points just as much in the eyes of Clarke, as the Lilywhites continue to try and improve their league standing.

And another solid defensive performance will be the platform once again for a successful end outcome, as the togetherness between the squad tightens even further in the wake of recent events.

“Carlisle is going to be a tough game, but we can still affect the position we are in,” added the former Huddersfield Town man.

“With Rotherham losing, there is still a chance of that third spot and it makes a big impact whether you play at home or away in the first leg of the Play-Offs.

“We just want to go into, if it is to be that, the Play-Offs in good form.

“When you have got strikers that work hard and a team that wants to work hard and defend well and if you don’t concede you have got a chance of winning the game.

“That is how we have always looked at it as and we have done alright, we have got a good defensive record, but it is the whole team that has helped to do that and hopefully we can take it in to these last few games and in to the important Play-Offs.

“We are all a close unit anyway, but with what has gone on, it has brought us even more together and we want to show everyone how tight we are and that only bodes well for the games coming up.

“I think that showed well at Bristol City and the whole team is behind the boys and we are striving for one thing and that is to get out of this league.”

The North End No.5 has been a revelation since arriving in Lancashire, becoming an almost ever present in Simon Grayson’s starting XI.

And Clarke is delighted to be a part of the current PNE squad.

He continued: “Before I signed, I knew what kind of squad Preston had and what their ambitions were as well as the staffs

“I knew we had a good chance and from day one my aim was to play as many games as I could.

“I have been training well and been available for selection every week and that was my main thing and now it is to go that one step further and get promoted.

“You want to be in them big important games and that is what you thrive on as a player, you want to be in the big games and in finals and stuff like that.

“As a squad, I feel we are ready, we have got enough experience about us to do that and the next few games are important to go into the Play-Offs in form.”

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