Preston North End’s Irish international midfielder Alan Browne is looking forward to the test the next few weeks will provide, starting at Swansea City on Saturday.
The Lilywhites’ No.8 is expecting a difficult run of games with two of the relegated teams and two fancied sides to come in August, but feels that it is an opportunity rather than a challenge that he and his team-mates face over the early part of the season.
Speaking to iFollow PNE to look ahead to the trip to South Wales, the 23-year-old is looking forward to testing himself against players who only a few months ago were in the Premier League.
“It is going to be a tough test,” he said. “As we know, every game in this league is always tough – you do not get any easy games in the Championship.
“They have just come down and have a task on their hands to get back up, but I think we want to be going in the same direction they do – as does every other team – and so we will be going there on the back of a win, looking for another three points on the back of our away form last season.
“Some teams need to find their feet in this league, because they know how hard it is to come down and go straight back up, but the teams, especially this year, will be fighting to try and bounce straight back and I think they will soon find out how difficult it is.
“We are wanting to go in that direction as well and we know it will be tough, but it is a task we are willing to take on.
“[These next few weeks] are a test, but it is a chance to get wins under our belt against the teams who have come down and maybe set a marker for ourselves and for the season. We have to look at the games as a chance, rather than as difficult opposition in our way.”
The 2018 player of the year was the match-winner in the opening day victory over Queens Park Rangers and felt it was important to get off to a positive start.
“The most important thing for us going into the first game was the three points,” continue the Cork-born man. “At this stage of the season it is early doors and performances will come, but we dominated the game last weekend.
“We lacked that cutting edge in front of goal, but I think that will come as the season goes on and at this stage it is about getting points on the board and we managed to do that and we managed to keep a clean sheet at the same time.”
This is PNE’s first away game of the new season and they will be looking to build on the last campaign, where only promoted Fulham and Wolves picked up more points on the road and Alan believes that games away from PR1 are ones that suits Alex Neil’s side’s style of play.
“We were fantastic all year away from home last season and I think that is what got us up the table.
“We were going to teams and really putting the game to them. It suits us when we go away, because teams want to be more expansive at home and we like to get in their faces and put the pressure on them early doors.
“Those kind of games suit us and hopefully it will be the same again this year.
“We will be going [to the Liberty Stadium] high on confidence after a win and looking to do the same there as we did last week.”