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John Welsh: ‘Players Always Believed’

25 October 2014

Preston’s 3-2 comeback vs Fleetwood Town may have surprised one or two today, but John Welsh declared that him and his team-mates always knew they had the right ingredients to win the game.

Both Welsh and Kevin Davies came on at half-time alongside Chris Humphrey who made an appearance from the bench 15 minutes later to all make a huge impact seeing North End claw back from two goals down, to win 3-2 courtesy of a Joe Garner hat-trick.

The victory means it’s six wins on the bounce for the Lilywhites’ and Welsh who spoke to PNE.Com after the final whistle went on to add that the spirit of a local derby helped guide them to victory.

“We were a bit shell-shocked in the first-half when we let two goals in and I think second half first and foremost we wanted to put a bit of pride back into the performance and play it like a derby.

“We won tackles, challenged for balls and got back to basics -  there’s not many games I’ve played in where the energy levels were that high in the second half, and it's credit to the passion and determination we showed to win the game.

“I still believed at 2-0 that we could go on and win it because we’ve got the quality to keep going and get something from the game and the lads thought the same and when you've got that belief you can do almost anything on a football pitch."

The Cod Army and Lilywhite derby may only be in its humble beginnings, but there was plenty on show at Deepdale this afternoon that suggested there was more than three points at stake.

And the North End scouser also pointed to the roar of the Deepdale crowd being mightier then usual today, as well as acknowledging a fitting tribute to the young school girl Melissa Smith from the fans inside Deepdale this afternoon who passed away last weekend playing for local side Cadley FC. 

“When you’re 2-0 down, you can get low when you’re playing but I say it all the time the fans here are unbelievable with how much passion they have for this football club.

"When it comes to a derby game they always want us to do well and they were still brilliant even when we were losing and got right behind us.

“I think after the minutes applause came up with Melissa Smith, the roar after that was the loudest I’ve heard in a while and obviously the tribute to her was brilliant from them and not only did the tribute spur the fans on, it spurred us on.”

Preston’s comeback was largely aided in the form of Joe Garner - the talisman taking the match ball home with a stunning second-half hat-trick – his first two courtesy of his head before striking a venomous volley that bulged the Fleetwood net.

“Every time he [Garner] plays I expect him to score and I know he feels that way because he sets himself those high standards." continued Welsh.

“He can score goals from anywhere - with his head, with his feet, on the volley from anywhere, and when we put Kevin Davies in the mix there with him it’s a real handful for defenders.

“He’s going to win us games and he certainly showed that today - he’s a great platform to play off to win your individual battles and to score those goals - perhaps we lacked that last year scoring goals from different positions.

“But if Joe Garner wants to score all of the goals I don’t think any of us will mind as long as we get the three points – that’s not a problem!”

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