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First Team News

Barkhuizen On 'Another Big Challenge'

17 October 2017

PNE's Tom Barkhuizen is looking to knock Wolverhampton Wanderers off top spot when PNE travel to Molineux this weekend.

Wolves have been in fine form and currently sit top of the table and Barkhuizen feels these games against the in-form sides often bring out the best in the PNE squad.

Speaking to iFollow PNE ahead of another tough test, the 24-year-old said: "Especially over the last year or so, these seem to be the games that we do well in. I don't know whether teams are still underestimating us but if they watch any of the highlights from Saturday they will know what we are all about and at the moment we are playing like we are a top team.

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Wolverhampton Wanderers Ticket Details

27 September 2017

"We are going to go there full of confidence, we are going into every game thinking we can win and this will be no different."

This weekend's host have spent big over the summer with clear intentions of reaching the top flight, and Barkhuizen feels that provides added pressure for Nuno Espírito Santo's side.

"The pressure is all going to be on them, you can't spend £40 million in this league and not go up. We know where we are budget wise and the players that we bring in but you also know what you are going to get.

"You are going to get hard work, 120 per cent every game, so we are going to go there and hopefully ruffle a few feathers and knock them off the top of the league.

Work rate has been a key factor in the success for Alex Neil's side so far this season, and it's something that Barkhuizen has credited after Saturday's game against Fulham at Craven Cottage.

"We work extremely hard for each other, it's what the manager wants and it's what we want for ourselves because we know when we do that, we're a really good team.

"You can tell in a couple of games that when we have dropped our standards a little bit, we've not been as effective.

"There was probably three or four of us going down with cramp [on Saturday], there's people like Pearo [Ben Pearson] who has only trained three or four days and he's played 60 minutes.

"Woodsy has come in and he's only played once or twice in the last 18 months, and he's managed to get to 90 minutes before he's cramped up.

"It shows how hard we are working for this team and for the manager and if we can keep doing that then hopefully we can go to places like Fulham and Wolves and put on a really good performance and push ourselves up the table."

Last time out, PNE we denied all three points at Craven Cottage after an agonising late equaliser from the hosts, but the forward feels the disappointment in coming away with only a point shows how far the club have come since last season.

"I think the manner in which we only came away with a point was really disappointing because of the amount of effort we put in, we deserved the three points.

"It does show how far we've come, it shows the demands that we are putting on ourselves is even bigger than in previous years.

"We were disappointed only to get a point because I think we deserved three but we can't sit and dwell on it now, we've got to look ahead to Wolves and that will be another big challenge on Saturday."

Watch the full interview with Barkhuizen on iFollow PNE now by clicking on the video above.


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