Club captain and Friday night’s match winner, Tom Clarke, is hoping his side can start a new page in their calendar with a positive performance.
The Lilywhites face Tony Pulis’ Middlesbrough at Deepdale on Monday afternoon and the 30-year-old defender believes it is a game everyone should be looking forward to.
“It is a big game; a big team, with a new manager, so new scenarios will be put forward and we’ll have to work on those,” he told iFollow PNE ahead of the clash with the Teesiders.
“We are in good form, confident, back in front of our own fans and we want to put on a good performance and try and continue this good run that we are on.”
Clarke, who recently returned from eight months out with a snapped Achilles, celebrated the pre-Christmas week with his birthday, followed by his 200th appearance in a North End shirt and he is enjoying being back amongst things.
“It has been a difficult period and this has probably all come a lot earlier than I thought it would,” he continued.
“I have worked hard for that and just to be in and around the team was what I wanted and that has happened. To be back in the team this early and be playing the games that I have, is really good.
“I am really pleased that I have helped the team and hopefully we can continue this run.
“It was a brilliant week. Time has flown. I was looking back with my dad to when I first game and the games that I had played.
“When I first came here I said I want to be involved in as many games as I can and I feel I have put myself forward for that. I have worked hard and to have played 200 games for this good club is a great feeling.”
Clarke joined fellow team-mates Pauls Huntington and Gallagher in reaching the double-ton of games for the club this season and he feels the more games this squad plays together, the better they get.
“They, and others, we have been through it together in League One and it was tough times, trying to get out of that league.
“We have played the games that we have and we are reaping the rewards now.
“We have a good squad now with a number of young lads and hopefully we can keep building and building, because just being a part of it is a great feeling.”
And having scored the winner on Friday and with fellow defender Huntington having got the equaliser against Forest, the No.5 believes the back line need to keep contributing in the goals column.
“If we can chip in with as many as we can, that will really help.
“We have kept 11 clean sheets, but it is not just the defence, it comes from the whole team, who work so hard from the front.
“They are doing the defensive side, so we need to contribute to the other side of it and we need to chip in with as many as we can and we are working hard on the training ground at that and hopefully we can keep adding to it,” he added.