Manager Simon Grayson says the squad at Deepdale are fully focused on what they need to achieve in the last three games if they are to complete their seasonal aim.
The North End chief felt that the performances against Gillingham and Port Vale were positive signs and the team will go into their clash at Meadow Lane in a positive frame of mind.
“The camp is a confident one at this moment in time, regardless of the two results we had last week,” he said. “We have the belief and the confidence that we can go and get the results.
“We would have taken being in control of our destiny with three games to go. We have a fantastic squad and we have the focus of what we need to do.
“Yes, we are disappointed by dropping the four points in the last week, where we have played some really good stuff, but that’s the big thing for me at this moment in time. We are not going into the last three games scrapping and getting results from poor performances – we blew both teams away first half.
“We have not seen the game out like we did in the early part of the season and the game management wasn’t there in these two games, but we are in a positive frame of mind that we are not relying on other teams.”
With people on edge up and down the country at this stage of the season the gaffer acknowledges that nerves will be on edge on the terraces, but that the squad have tunnel vision towards their goal, especially having been ruled out of it after their difficult January.
“I can understand supporters’ nerves, but we are in a fantastic position,” he continued.
“We go back to 31st January; we had no chance, by all accounts, I should have been sacked, the players were a disgrace etc. so if back then someone had said we would be one point clear in third place with three games to go they would have thought we were mad.
“We are where we are; everyone needs to stick together. I know the away following will be absolutely fantastic on Tuesday, as they were on Friday night and every other away game and home game this season.
“There is so much positivity in the camp, so we are going into the game very focused and knowing what we need to do to get the three points.”
The Lilywhites face a side with a recently appointed manager in place and the PNE manager feels they will be well aware of the threats in the North End dressing room.
“They have a new manager in place with a slightly different philosophy to Shaun Derry when he was in there.
“We are respectful of them. We have had them watched and they have some experienced players who have been there are done it like Alan Smith, Gary Jones, Garry Thompson and Hayden Mullins, but we have to try and capitalise.
“We are aware of how they might play, but they will be looking at our team and thinking that with Garner, Beckford, Gallagher, Robinson, Johnson etc. they will know what we can do and we have to go there and make sure we play within the framework of the team, win our individual battles and do what we have to do,” he added.