Manager Simon Grayson says that patience will be the key to Tuesday night’s clash with Charlton Athletic, with a very different atmosphere expected to the weekend.
The PNE boss spoke ahead of the Addicks’ visit to Deepdale and said that fans and players would have to motivate each other after the cup tie tone to the victory over Sheffield Wednesday.
“The opposition following on Saturday contributed to the atmosphere,” said the gaffer. “It was a proper game. It was like a cup tie atmosphere, but on Tuesday night I do not expect there to be too many travelling up from London.
“It will make it more difficult. We have to make sure that we get the energy levels high and try and put on a performance for the supporters, because it is not easy when there aren’t as many there, but we have to make sure it isn’t after the Lord Mayor’s Show on Tuesday.
“We have a very tough game against Charlton. Sometimes the crowd can inspire you and lift you and you don’t have to lift yourself, but on Tuesday night it might be a game where we have to lift supporters.
“It is a two-way thing and where that happens the supporters have to stick with the players and be patient with them and ultimately the players have to give them something to cheer about as well.
“It is a Championship match against a team who are desperate for the points and so are we. We are not too concerned with what Charlton are doing; we are very settled on and off the pitch and we have to keep working and improving.
“We have to do the same things we did on Saturday. Regardless whether we are playing Charlton or Sheffield Wednesday, we want three points to keep progressing.”
For the first time, perhaps all season, North End will go into the game as favourites with the bookies to take the points, but the manager is not too worried about expectations and says that the team are a level-headed bunch.
“We have never got too far ahead of ourselves,” he continued. “Even when we were in the bottom three, we never felt that we ‘had’ to win the next game to catch the people above us.
“Of course we knew we had to win matches to improve on what we were doing, but we were never doing it because we were worried about what was round the corner. We were doing it because we want to win matches and we want to keep seeing where that takes us.
“We will finish where we deserve to finish and we will keep enjoying ourselves and hopefully win a lot more matches between now and the end of the season.
“There is no extra pressure on the players; they are just looking at the next game, trying to put on a performance and get another three points.
“We will approach every game with a laid back attitude.”