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First Team News

Barkhuizen: We're Passionate About This Club

21 September 2017

Tom Barkhuizen feels the passion shown by the fans on a matchday is replicated by the players out on the pitch.

North End have been in fine form this season and Barkhuizen admits that the players are passionate about bringing success to Deepdale and that passion stems from the fans and manager Alex Neil.

Speaking about the influence of the supporters at St Andrew's, the forward said: "The passion the fans were showing on Saturday went out on to the pitch when we scored, you could see from the celebrations we were going all over the place.

"I think we showed how much passion we've all got for this club, you see the gaffer on the sideline, it's like he's kicking every ball and it flows onto the pitch and we are all the same.

"We were all disappointed with the first half but the second half we were really proud of ourselves for how we got back into the game because, given our away form over the last six months it's been pretty poor, so to show the fighting spirit that we have it's great.

"Just that passion at the end to show how much it means to us, I'm sure the fans will appreciate it.

Barkhuizen has set up three and scored one in the last three games for North End, and that has come since joining John Welsh and Calum Woods in the 'scouse car school' after moving house.

With Welsh and Woods returning to action in the last month, the former Morecambe man admits it's a happy group on the way to and from training: "It's been pretty good, I moved down there a couple of weeks ago and Welshy and Woodsy made me feel pretty comfortable and since I've been in it they've both been back playing as well so it's a pretty happy car school at the moment.

"It's obviously great for the lads and the staff that they are back playing, they are two really good players and they bring a bit of experience that we haven't had over the first few games.

"Although we've been doing pretty well you can never have enough experience and Welshy and Woodsy have got a lot of games between them. When they've come in they've both done really well and hopefully there is more to come.

On his own form so far, Barkhuizen added: "I think the first three or four games, I wasn't off the pace, but I just wasn't producing what I had done in pre-season and the back end of last season.

"The gaffer has kept the faith in me, he's obviously seen that I'm doing something right and thankfully that perserverance has helped me contribute in the last three or four games and my performances have really picked up.

One of the key aspects to North End good start has been the work ethic amongst the group, and the expectations from the manager and the squad itself are high and Barkhuizen knows the standards can't slip.

"We do demand a lot off each other, whether you are starting or coming off the bench, we know what we are capable of so when someone is below par you do let them know because you know they can do better.

"The first few games we weren't quite clicking but now we've had a bit more time to train together and get used to what we want to do, it's working really well and now I think that all the lads who started on Saturday are all off the mark, it does take a little bit of pressure off because you are always fighting to get that first goal.

"Now we've got one, hopefully the likes of Callum [Robinson], Stephy [Mavididi] and Daryl [Horgan] can chip in and we can all get off the mark and see if we can do something really special this season.

Hear more from Barkhuizen on iFollow PNE now by clicking on the video above.


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