North End shot stopper Declan Rudd hailed North End’s firing line on a night which saw them claim a vital three points against fellow Play-Off chasing Bristol City.
Goals from Alan Browne and Sean Maguire secured the win against the Robins on home territory, and although Rudd had his fair share of work to do in-between the sticks, the goalkeeper focused on the attacking effort from the Lilywhites this evening.
“For everybody who played or came on, everybody put in 100 percent tonight and gave everything,” said the goalkeeper who was speaking post-match to iFollow. “Everybody put their body on the line for the cause.”
“When the ball was going forward, everybody was going forward to keep the ball up which is important as it keeps the pressure off us at the back.
“I don’t think there’s been a game this season where we sit off and let them have the ball. The higher you press, if you nick the ball you’re in there half and you’re not sitting off and waiting to get the ball to try and get the ball forward; we defend from the front.
“Once again, the lads up at the top ran their socks off and they make it easier for us. They win the ball up at the top and keep it up there and you’ve got more chance at getting in at goal if you do that.
“We’re at our best when we’re defending from the front, creating chances and on the counter attack; I wouldn’t like to defend against us let’s put it that way.
"We’ve got some players up there that can leave any defenders behind and once again Seani Maguire comes on and wins us the game; he didn’t start the game but he came on as a sub and changed the game and that’s what this squad can do.”
Rudd was forced into action himself late on to produce a match winning save from Bobby Reid from point blank range, yet Rudd played down his heroics and focused on the team effort on a night which saw PNE move to within one point of a Play-Off place.
“I’m a goalkeeper, I’ve got to make saves, that’s my job,” reiterated the No. 1. “If I don’t make them we concede goals and lose games and it’s no different to the strikers putting away those chances. It’s what we’re in the team to do and It’s a joy to play in this team.”
On the form of team-mate Browne who once again was at the heart of almost everything tonight, Rudd added:
“He’s been different class. Obviously the last time I was here he was just coming into the team from Cork, he’s come on leaps and bounds and he's a top player.
"I hope he can carry on this form into the rest of the season and keep coming up with those important goals and those big performances. With players like him in the team, we’ll be alright.”
Watch Dec’s full interview on iFollow now by clicking on the video above.