Manager Simon Grayson has urged any supporter not sure about whether to come to Deepdale on Saturday to come and help his team’s promotion push.
Speaking at his pre-match press conference the Lilywhites’ gaffer was full of praise for those who have bought almost 15,000 tickets in the first three days of sale and urged any wavering fan to join the party and create a wall of noise inside Deepdale come 5.15pm on Saturday teatime.
“The fans can play a massive part,” he told the gathered media. “Our supporters have been magnificent, both home and away, and if sales continue the way they have, then there could be just under 20,000 inside Deepdale, which will be a fantastic effort.
“If we can create a really intimidating atmosphere from the first whistle, right the way through, then it might give us some advantage.
“It will be the same at Rotherham next Thursday, but our supporters can play a big part. We have already seen at Deepdale this season what a big, noisy crowd can be like at Deepdale and it can bring the best out of the players.
“Anyone who is half thinking about coming, get yourself down, make some noise and enjoy it.
“We want to galvanise the Club, because this Club is going in the right direction on and off the pitch and there is a unity about the place, all wanting the same thing and hopefully as staff and players we can give them something to cheer about.”
With half the week under their belts at Springfields, it has been business as usual for the North End players and staff and Simon admitted that there was a sense of anticipation and excitement about the training ground.
“We all know what’s at stake, but you have to play with your head as well as your heart,” he continued. “You can’t get carried away with the situation. It is unlikely the tie will be won or lost by either team on Saturday teatime, so you have to make sure you do the right things you have done on Saturday, on the pitch and off the pitch that have got you to the position you are in.
“I don’t think there are any favourites; if you are going to go down that theory then it should be the third placed team in any of the divisions because by their records they are the third best team in the division over 46 games.
“All the teams finishing in the top six have good teams and have done good things over the course of the season.
“We have a good opportunity, but so do all the other teams.
“It is going to be a tough ask for us all, we all know each other’s strengths and weaknesses and it will be whoever can get the breaks, whoever’s top players give a little bit of magic that get them over the line at the end.
“We have tried to keep it as normal as possible this week. The players have prepared the same as any other week, both in the gym and on the training pitch.
“The players are excited, of course, they know what is around the corner, but there isn’t too much tension. We are relaxed staff, we always try to encourage the players in what they doing, allow them to express themselves, and that will be no different now.
“The players are focused mentally, but are also going to enjoy themselves and seize an opportunity to be heroes at Preston North End this year.”
The opposition come to Deepdale following two drawn games in the league and the PNE boss is well aware of their threats, but it focused on his own side’s preparations.
“Rotherham have a lot of threats, have pace and they are in the Play-Offs for a reason. They are the fourth best team in the division after 46 games and we are fully aware of them.
“All sorts will be happening in the two games. Players will be trying to wind each other up and the referees will need to be strong, because there is so much riding on the game.
“Both teams are good sides and have been in the Play-Off positions for a long time.
“There I nothing much between the teams. There was only a point difference in the league placing and goal difference was very close as well, so they will be two evenly matched games.
“Steve’s a passionate manager and has done a good job for Rotherham, but I am more focused on what we need to do, as a staff and a Club, rather than worrying about what they are trying to do.
“I’ve got probably 80 per cent of the team in the back of my mind, but that might change as there is still time left before we finalise everything. One or two are coming back from injury and that gives me food for thought. I have a fully fit squad to choose from and it will be a difficult decision.
“There will be 11 happy faces come Saturday teatime and seven subs all itching and chomping at the bit and then others sat in the stand, but that’s why we’ve gathered together a strong squad, all pushing each other and it is one of the reasons we are where we are.”