The Lilywhites make their first trip to the Stadium of Light for over ten years, as they face Chris Coleman’s Sunderland at the weekend.
The Black Cats are fighting at the opposite end of the table to North End, but their former Welsh international manager says the effort will be there and that it would be unforgiveable to see their situation as a foregone conclusion.
Speaking to his side’s official website, safc.com, the former defender said: “It is hard for everyone to stay positive, but that’s what we have to do – keep fighting, because we still have a chance.
“Whilst that’s there, the unforgiveable thing to do is not to participate in the fight, so we must make sure that that doesn’t happen.
“It can change really quickly. Come what may, we have to keep going until we can’t go any more. The unforgiveable thing is to give up while we are still in with a shout - and we are – then we must make sure there is nobody pointing fingers saying ‘you didn’t try enough’.
“If we come up short in other areas, you can maybe accept that, but not for a lack of trying.”
Coleman says his side must also adopt a ‘all for one, one for all’ approach in their battle to avoid the drop: “We have to have a siege mentality,” he continued. “When you have been on a dreadful run like we have, it only takes one win, one 90 minutes to give people a bit of hope.
“We haven’t had that yet, so we just need one win to turn it around, gain the belief and change the feeling.”
But he is well aware that it will be a test against Alex Neil’s North End, who are looking to close the gap on the top six.
“Every game that goes past when you haven’t won and you are on a losing run or a run where you have not picked up wins – especially when you are bottom of the league – everything is amplified, it is bigger and there is more pressure.
“Preston are going for the Play-Offs. They have recently won back-to-back games and it seems every game we go into is the same these, because everyone is doing better that us.
“But it is not too late to change that and until it is too late, I will never change my opinion of it.
“I know it is challenging; it’s dauting and scary, but let’s go and get into it. Let’s go and change the feeling that ‘Sunderland are a right off’, which is what people say; ‘they’ll never get away from where they are’; we are the only ones who can change that, so let’s go and change it.”