Manager Simon Grayson has tunnel vision; 18 games and one aim and it begins with a trip to Prenton Park this weekend.
The North End boss spoke to the media less than 12 hours after his side’s FA Cup hopes ended, despite a superb performance against Championship promotion hopefuls Nottingham Forest, and was fully focused back on league matters and a clash with Ronnie Moore’s Tranmere Rovers.
The ‘Super Whites’ picked up a good win at Milton Keynes Dons last weekend and have the benefit of a full week without a game and the PNE gaffer is well aware of the test his side face on the Wirral.
“They are a team that can get results and then have a poorer performance, but they gave us a good game in the early part of the season and we are going over there expecting a tough game,” he said.
“It will be a good atmosphere and it is one of those games where we must make sure we are really up for it. We can’t rest on the laurels of what we did in midweek. We have to be totally focused and mentally and physically prepared properly.
“The bread and butter of the next 18 games starts here with the aim of getting where we want to get to.
“There are loads of points to play for and we genuinely feel we have a very strong squad that can go on a run of winning a lot of football matches and we’ll be giving it our best to do that.”
The Lilywhites’ chief goes into the game with a virtually fully fit squad to choose from and is delighted to have the sort of selection dilemmas he faces.
“It’s a great position for me to be in,” he continued. “Apart from Josh Brownhill, who is touch and go for the weekend, everybody is fit and available and desperate for a game.
“We have some great options and that can help me freshen it up if I feel we need to. Whatever team we put out can get the result.”
One of the biggest posers he will have is who to pick in attack. Joe Garner and Paul Gallagher were rested against Forest, Craig Davies is available again after being Cup tied and he also have Kevin Davies, Stuart Beavon and former Tranmere fan favourite Iain Hume to choose from and Simon believes this is a vital if his side are to achieve their aims.
“Ultimately promotions are won by strikers scoring goals to win matches and every option you can have are important to you.
“We have different types of players in the group and they will all get an opportunity and I am sure they will all get goals that will be vitally important.
“We have seen made teams make changes after 60 or 70 minutes, on the attacking front, and go and win matches and hopefully that can be the case with us, because we have some real quality there and I am looking forward to sitting down and picking a team for the weekend.
“We have stressed from day one to the players that this is a squad game; players want to be involved, but they are all together and carry each other forward.
“They are disappointed if they are not in the team, but they don’t show their disappointment, because other players don’t allow them to do that and we won’t all it as a staff,” he added.