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First Team News

Patience Paying Off For Dec

2 February 2018

Goalkeeper Declan Rudd is delighted to be back between the sticks after a frustrating first half of the season.

Rudd joined the club permanently in the summer but a recurring groin injury kept him side-lined for the first four months of the season.

After returning from injury, Rudd has had to wait for his chance in the side with Chris Maxwell an every present in the Championship for North End since September 2016.

The 27-year-old made his first league start of the season against Nottingham Forest on Tuesday night and is looking forward to his first game at Deepdale in three and a half years when Hull City visit on Saturday.

"My patience has definitely been tested, it's been quite a long road for me since I signed but I was really happy to get out there on Tuesday night and start my first league game back at the club which felt really good."

On being back at Deepdale this weekend, the 'keeper continued: "It's been a long time, I'm really looking forward to getting back playing there and I've got some very good memories from last time I was here at Deepdale of some good team performances and a lot of things that have stuck in my head ever since.

"It's going to be good but the main objective is hopefully another cleansheet, three points and then go into the next game."

The last time Rudd played in front of the Deepdale faithful was back in 2014 when North End drew 1-1 with Rotherham United in the Play-Off semi-final first leg, a game in which Joe Garner scored a wonder goal to take a draw in to the second leg.

On that game, the former Norwich City man said: "I don't think Garns has ever scored a goal like that since, that was a special goal for him and a big goal for us putting us in to the second leg with a chance.

"Hopefully someone else can do that on Saturday but the main thing is the three points and to keep pushing on to the top six and let's see what we can do."

Home form is something the squad are looking to improve after impressive form on the road, and it's something Rudd and his teammates have been working on.

On the away form, Dec said: "I think it's testament to the gaffer and his staff, when we go away from home we don't just sit back and defend, we go to win the game.

"Obviously sometimes it doesn't work and you come away with a defeat or just scraping a draw but we've picked up a lot of points away from home and it's because we go into every game to win.

"I think at home some teams, because they know that we are a good team, they are coming and sitting in and stopping us from playing our game because they know what we are about now.

"They know that if they go out and attack us we are going to hurt them so I think they sit in and make it quite hard for us.

"It's down to us now to learn how to break teams down and hurt them when they are sitting in and not coming out at us."

Watch the extended interview with Dec on iFollow PNE now by clicking on the video above.


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