North End travel to Ashton Gate for Sky Bet League One’s game of the day on Saturday, with both sides looking to bounce back.
“Anyone who has been on a good run and then loses it, the first thing they come out and say is ‘let’s start another run’ – I have said it myself,” Lilywhites boss Simon Grayson said as he looked forward to the clash that pits third against first.
“The play 3-5-2, have some good talented players, use the wing backs really well, are solid as a back three and they have the threats of Wilbraham and Agard up front, so they are a good team.
“When you are top, you are up there to be shot at every week; no team in this division is going to go through every game unbeaten and we will go there in good spirits.
“Our last couple of results will spur us on to go get the right result.
“It is the biggest game in our division this weekend – two big teams who I thoroughly expect to be up at the top of the table come the end of this season.
“They’ll be looking at us thinking we have a decent group, with some major threats and match winners as well.”
The Robins’ formation was something used regularly by Simon and his squad last season, so he is well aware of the positives and negatives of using three at the back.
“We played 3-5-2 really well last year and I thought in the summer about doing it again this year, but I just felt at the timer we had the personnel that suited the way we have played so far this season, but I do know the flaws of that system as well,” he continued.
“We have respect for the opposition, but there aren’t too many times we change our system to suit the opposition.
“We play our own game and if we need to tweak it in the games then we will do, but we try to focus on what we need to do and not anybody else.”
So what about the idea of a win at Ashton Gate being something of a marker?
“We don’t need to send a message out to anybody else, other than to ourselves and our own supporters that we want to return to winning ways very quickly.
“We are still in a great position and there are still many games to go. We said a few weeks ago that we didn’t shout from the roof tops when we won eight in a row and we won’t be getting down that we have now lost a few.
“We have a group that is determined to get back on track very quickly and with games coming thick and fast again from this weekend, there are plenty of points to play for and there will be nobody feeling down or pessimistic in this dressing room,” he added.