Manager Simon Grayson says a large, vocal and hostile crowd at Deepdale at the weekend can make a big difference in the Lilywhites’ aims to pick up three points.
“There is no bigger game and we do encourage as many people to come down as possible,” he said. “The Bradford game last Monday had an unbelievable atmosphere and it does galvanise players.
“Even at 2-0 down Bradford were still having a go, because the supporters were demanding that.
“We want people to come down and make it a real hostile and intimidating atmosphere to try and make sure we all go away satisfied and buoyed by another three points.”
The game will be the focus of the League One eyes, with two heavyweights going toe-to-toe in PR1 and the gaffer admits he always expected that to be the case.
“When you looked at the fixtures at the start of the season you though ‘there could be something riding on that game’ and if there wasn’t you would be disappointed – and there most certainly is!” Continued the boss.
“It is the game of the day, first versus second, and another three points would help our quest in trying to get promotion.
“I went to their game on Tuesday night and they are a good team. I see them very much like us; they are very hard working, organised and disciplined. They play when they need to play and can go forward to the strikers as well, so they have a lot of traits that we have.
“They have been very consistent; been at the top of the division for so long, won the JPT and were favourites for the division at the start of the season. It is a great game for everybody to be involved in, myself, the players and the supporters as well. Deepdale should be rocking.
“They have some good individual players and it is a great game for everybody to be involved in and hopefully we can continue the run that we are on.”
The game could prove vital to both teams, but there is no chance of either side settling for a point: “We are trying to achieve a win. We are not going into the game looking for anything less than that. We are full of respect for them, but it is no different to the next game or the last game.
“I know that is easy for me to say, but we have to focus on Saturday, do what it takes to try and win the game and try and pull away from the teams below us and close the gap on Bristol.
“People are probably sick of me saying that all we can do is focus on what we need to do. People were writing us off at the end of January, but we were confident we had the group to go on a run and we have shown that.
“We are not getting complacent – we have to finish off the job. We will maintain our focus and attention to detail to keep improving every game to try and get to where we want to get to,” he added.