Preston North End club captain Tom Clarke says the period of reflection that the international break allows has given the team plenty of chance to step up during the next cluster of fixtures.
Speaking to iFollow PNE as the players worked at Springfields in the build up to a return to action against Reading at Deepdale next weekend, the skipper said the week without a game was one that allowed them to assess what was needed to push on.
“The international break is a chance to look back on how we started the season,” said the PNE No.5. “We are disappointed with the results that we have got, but felt that performances deserved that little bit more.
“We felt we have been punished for every little mistake at the minute, which is disappointing and something we will look back on given that we have that little bit of a break.
“There aren’t major things that need working on. Take the game on Saturday; we started so well and got the goals in front, but were disappointed by those couple of minutes where we collapsed and they got back into the game.
“It felt as though our game plan was working and to go in front 2-0, you don’t want to lose that at home, so that was a disappointing feeling.
“We don’t want to over analyse it, but we do have a chance to look back now and see what we can improve on and what we need to do to push on, because we feel like that as a group, we are not a million miles away.”
After the break the team return with Saturday-Tuesday fixtures back-to-back through to the next break, with seven games in 22 days beginning with the Royals’ visit to PR1 on Saturday 15th September.
And the Halifax-born central defender says that the team will be targeting an improvement in both results and performances when hostilities resume against Paul Clement’s side.
“I have looked at the game after this international period, they come thick and fast and we need to be ready for that,” he continued.
“We need to use this time now to charge up again, reflect on what we have done and improve, because I feel as though we have a lot of improving to do and we will work on that and come back stronger.
“We know what this group can do. We have had a couple of injuries to key players, but we have got lads who have come in and done really well and the lads on loan have done tremendous.
“We know there is another level we can improve to and we are working hard to do that. Hopefully we can recharge physically and mentally and be ready to go again in another busy period.”
To watch the full interview with Clarkey, just click on the video at the top of the page. All interviews on iFollow are free to view, with no need for subscription.