Blackburn Rovers manager Tony Mowbray says his side must play to their strengths and mask their weaknesses ahead of his side’s clash with the Lilywhites at the weekend.
Speaking at his pre-match press conference, the Rovers boss said his side were not concerned by who they were playing, only wanting to focus on the result.
“They [derby games] might [heighten the senses] for the supporters, but for us as professionals, we have to just go and try and win the next game,” he said. “It doesn't really matter to me who it is against.
“The players will look back to the first game against Preston. The result was not what was required. There were some good spells of play in that game, but yet again, we have lost too many goals.
“We cannot disguise that this is a team that needs [defensive] reinforcements and needs competition and players who will provide a competition in that department.
“We can't expect to keep losing three goals every game and expect to win many points, so we are aware of all that stuff. It will be addressed at the right time, but at this moment you have to believe in the players we have got.
“We have to give them confidence; give them belief that we can go out and get the job done and we are looking forward to these challenges. We have to react and show our supporters how much it means to us.”
And in order to get that result, the former Celtic and Middlesbrough manager feels that he must ensure there is no anxiety amongst his ranks.
“The secret for me is not to get over anxious,” he continued. “We have not won for a few weeks, so you have to be careful you don't to transmit your anxiety to the team, let them play football and be relaxed.
“The best way for this football team to play is to be relaxed and go in and do their jobs; you just have to keep reminding them what their jobs are. You have to be careful not to overload, giving them too much information.
“We have done fine for two years; we have had a really disappointing month, we can see that, but let's not lose sight of how far we've come and I am very confident that hopefully shortly we will be back to winning ways and winning football matches.
“There's not a lot to put right. You have to stick together, work hard and just believe in each other and keep going. The things that need improving are there in front of your face. The players know.
“We know the strengths and weaknesses of our team. We have to try and play to the strengths and mask the weaknesses. We have to keep going, keep believing and keep the strength to try and get the results.
“You keep going with the same things. Football is a simple game - try and put the ball in the net at one end and keep it out at the other. All the organisation and stuff is what we do during the week.
“At the moment we are trying to eradicate some deficiencies in the team, by either removing players from the team, giving them a break or reminding them of their responsibilities. When you do that, their focus and their concentration can really tell.
“We are still in every game, we are making a fist of every football match, at this moment, whether it is defenders not defending a cross, the goalkeeper making a poor decision whether he is coming or not, it is going against us.
“You look at the other end of the pitch and people are missing a chance that maybe they have taken a few games ago.
“You have to stick together when those situations are happening. They are the same group, they are still working really hard, but those tight games that we were winning, we are losing and we have to start trying to turn it around.”