Preston North End No.1 Declan Rudd is looking forward to running out in front of more than 7,000 PNE fans for an away game this weekend.
Sales to Lilywhites supporters for the clash with local rivals Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park has already surpassed 7,000 and is closing in on a sell out and the goalkeeper feels that a vocal backing can make a huge difference.
“All form goes out of the window in derby games,” he told iFollow PNE to look ahead to the derby. “Two teams come together and it is whoever performs on the day that gets the result.
“It will be nice to have the support of the PNE fans. I remember saying when we played at Bolton a few weeks ago, it felt like a home game.
“We nearly had as many fans as they did and it really helped to kick us on and that support is welcomed by every player in the squad, because it really does give you that extra little bit going in to the end of the game, when you are getting roared on by your fans. It will be nice to have a full stand behind the goal and hopefully making the sound that they did last time.
“It is a lot more confined in a smaller area [at away games] and you seem to get a lot more sound from it. People who are singing are stood next to people who don’t normally, but they then feel they have to join in, which is great.
“It brings everyone together and creates a great atmosphere. When you are winning games away from home and you hear that stand roaring as load as they can, it gives you a tingle and really spurs you on.”
A derby day is always special to supporters, but what makes the games different for players? “The anticipation of everybody going into the game gives it a different feel for us as players,” continued Dec.
“Everyone wants to go to work the next day and be able to have the bragging rights. That’s the biggest thing for most fans. Most of them will have friends who support the opposition and if you can get the bragging rights for a few weeks, it is nice to have.
“It is a different feeling for a player, but once that whistle goes, it disappears and you are just 11 men versus 11 men and you have to go out there and win the game.”
And whilst form might not be of much important in the game, confidence and the state of mind of the squad, who are now nine unbeaten, couldn’t be bettered as they go into the business end of the season.
“Form goes out of the window in a derby, but it is good to be on the right side of form going into it. We have been really good in the last nine games.
“We haven’t deserved to lose any of them and, if anything, we have deserved to have won a few more than we have and we will look to keep that run going.
“You want to keep adding to it every week, looking to extend it by another game.
“I have got a job to do and if anything comes along, it is my job to get in front of it and save it, fortunately in the last few games, it has been something late in games that has been quite important.
“But it doesn’t matter when it comes, as long as I do my job and keep it out, that is all that matters,” added the 28-year-old.