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First Team News

Declan Rudd Looking To End Season On A High

16 April 2019

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PNE's No.1 Declan Rudd wants to rectify the last two weeks and take some momentum into next campaign.

The 'keeper was kept busy last Saturday, and admits the previous fortnight for North End has been anything but easy - citing managerial speculation, suspensions and tricky fixtures as the reasons for a loss of momentum over a difficult month for the team.

But now, with gaffer Alex Neil signing to remain at the helm until at least 2022, Rudd is optimistic about putting the last few games behind them and finishing the season on a high.

“I think it shows the commitment from the club to the manager,” said Dec.

“He’s shown he’s been devoted to this job, he works really hard, he tries to get every player to their best of their ability, he’ll coach them and you can see with how players have come on over the last two years how that has impacted the squad.

“We had injuries, suspensions, talk about the manager leaving - people like to say it shouldn’t affect you but all of those things do come into play and we’ve still got four games to go where we need to build momentum going into next season now and finish it as strongly as possible.”

Despite back to back games against teams near the bottom of the table, the 28-year-old insists that the run-in presents a big challenge and will provide the test his team need to keep on their toes for the last few games of the season.

“I think if we get back on track and finish on a positive it’ll make us want to come back at the beginning of next season and kick on.

“No-one wants the season to peter out and lose game after game and come in next season and think ‘here we go again’.

“We want to be full of confidence from the way we finished and people might look at the fixtures and think we have an easy few games coming up but it’s going to be far from it.

“It’s going to be tough and that’s good because it can get us back on track and we can battle to get back to where we were.”

He especially warned not to under-estimate Ipswich Town this Friday, whose relegation was confirmed at the weekend, and Dec feels their side can play with more freedom.

“You look since Paul Lambert’s gone in there, they’ve had some very good results they’ve very rarely lost a game, they’ve drawn a lot of games and they’ve come up against some of the best teams in the league and not lost, so relegated or not, they’re still competing and still giving it everything.

“They’re playing for their personal pride now. Even though they’ve been relegated, they’re still trying to piece something together for next season and get back into the league so it’s going to be a tough game and there will be players in that team playing for future contracts.

“It’s going to be difficult but we’re in a position where we need to get back on track. And I’m sure we’re going to be chomping at the bit and wanting to put the last two weeks right.”

Watch the full interview with Dec on iFollow PNE now.

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