Let’s not beat around the bush, no one at PNE wanted to be spending early May training hard and preparing for what has turned into the biggest home game of the season.
And John Welsh isn’t a beat around the bush kind of guy; he’s a fighter, he’s a winner, and he is determined to right last Sunday’s wrong – but, he and his team-mates can’t do it on their own.
They want and they need the supporters who have been first class all season to give them one final push to Wembley.
And Welsh has no shame in asking for that shove.
“I have always said ever since I came to the Club that the fans have been brilliant both home and away – that’s what made last week a lot worse,” said Welsh, in an exclusive interview with The One And Only.
“The backing you get week in week out at this football club is brilliant and one of the best I have experienced.
“That makes it harder to take when things don’t go your way as you want to do it so much for them and the Club, your family, yourself – we want to get promotion to get the Club back to the league that it belongs in.
“The fans pay their money, they pay their wages to come and see us every week and give us everything they can possibly give us and it makes it a lot harder when you go to the last game, expecting to win to get promoted and it doesn’t happen.
“We need to put that to the back of our minds now and we need everyone pulling together, everyone going in the right direction, being positive.
“We keep saying it but we need positivity throughout the football club, the players, the staff, the management, the fans, and we have another opportunity.
“The old cliché is ‘the best way to get promoted is through the Play-Offs’, so if it happens then I’m sure it will be even better for everyone.
“We need Deepdale full. When you look at the Bristol City game and the Swindon Town game it was, and the lads responded brilliantly in those games.
“We beat Swindon and probably should have beat Bristol City and it was a great feeling to walk out with the noise levels so high.
“I remember every time we scored; sometimes you don’t realise the crowd during goals because you are busy celebrating yourself, but every goal that we scored, I remember seeing the fans and how happy everyone was and I think that is what we need, we need to get the positivity back in the football club.
“Come Sunday, we want Deepdale to be packed out again and I ask the fans to get right behind us again. They have been brilliant all season and the negativity is not going to help anyone; including the fans.
“It is case of keep believing, keep backing us, and we have to respond.”
You can read more from John in our exclusive interview with in the 84-page edition of Sunday’s programme; this also includes features and interviews with Joe Garner, Tom Clarke, Paul Gallagher, Scott Laird and an extended interview with former Spireite Kevin Davies.
We also have a plenty of pages about our visitors from Derbyshire and we have some fantastic unseen images in our big picture section – all this and so much more packed into the 31st edition of the season.
It will be available on the day still for the fantastic value price of just £3. They will be on sale from Saturday afternoon from the Club shop, online and in person from our sellers inside and outside of Deepdale.
Don’t forget; The One And Only is also available to download on your iPhone and iPad via the Matchday Digital app.
The Matchday Digital App allows you to view the North End programme anytime, anywhere. You can make one-off purchases or take out a season pass so you are subscribed to the whole season. If you can’t make the game, simply download the programme on the Matchday Digital app and be part of the game.
The slick digital version comes with all the content you would have in the printed programme, but with added features including:
• Programmes available to fans any time, anywhere
• Download back copies from past games
• Programmes will be made available for purchase worldwide
• Easy to use curl or slide ‘turn page’ technology
• Keyword search taking you straight to a particular player or feature
• Pinch screen feature to zoom into articles or images
• Add articles to Facebook or Twitter via the social media feature
• The Matchday Digital app is free to download on to your iPhone/iPad.
Preston North End supporters can download an individual issue at £2.99 or take out a season pass for £49.99.
Download the Matchday Digital app on your iPhone or iPad for free by going to the iTunes App store on your iPhone/iPad and search for ‘Matchday Digital’.