Having grown up as a Middlesbrough fan, Saturday’s game at the Riverside has an added importance to PNE’s number nine Jordan Hugill and the striker believes that this PNE team can beat anyone in the Championship.
Hugill scored his first North End goal away to Middlesbrough in the Capital One Cup back in 2014 and is looking to add to his tally against his boyhood club at the weekend.
Speaking to iFollow PNE ahead of the trip to Teesside, Hugill said: “That was my first goal for Preston. Hopefully I can go there and get a few more, I missed the last one so that was unfortunate for me but I’m well up for it – I’m looking forward to it.
“As soon as they come out its one of the ones that I want to play, especially at the Riverside. I’m sure they’ll have a lot of fans there and I missed this fixture when they were last in the Championship so I’m really looking forward to it.”
Jordan is positive about PNE’s start to the campaign, he’s fearing nobody in this league and wants to show the top teams what the squad are capable of.
“I’m sure we’ll be looking at it now, after these four games, and thinking we can go and beat anyone in this league. We’ve shown on our day that we can go and match the top teams.
“We’ve absolutely flown it this season, we’ve won two games now, lost one and drawn one.
"Seven points out of the last four games is brilliant considering, looking at the fixtures at the start of the season and seeing who we had.”
A major part of the Lilyhwhites’ energy this season is the young enthusiastic nature of the squad. The squad for Saturday’s win over Reading averaged under 23 and 22 at different stages of the game and Hugill believes that the young age of the team can complement the talent that the squad possesses.
“Without a doubt – and we’re only going to get better. A lot of the lads are younger than me and I’m only 25. People are still going to develop, they will learn how to play their positions and get even better and become better players.
“I got the shock of my life when I was in the old squad in training, I thought I hadn’t been around that long! It just shows the talent that we’ve got that is coming through – Josh Earl played left-back, 18 year-old, I thought he played fantastic.
“We don’t go into games thinking we might get turned over. We want to be going into games this year attacking things, even away from home, we’ve showed now that we’re not going to be passive we’re going to attack people even if we’re not at home. It’s one of the things the gaffer’s brought in and I think we’re doing it well.”
Watch the full interview with Jordan Hugill by clicking on the video above.