Preston North End central defender Ben Davies made his 100th appearance for the club in last weekend’s 5-1 thrashing of Barnsley and during the international break he sat down with iFollow PNE to reflect on the season so far.
The 24-year-old, who has become a mainstay of Alex Neil’s backline, feels that the start has been a positive one and that the team is stronger than in recent seasons.
“When you are winning games everyone is a lot happier, as that is the goal every week,” said the Barrow-born man.
“Everyone is bubbling; we have had a couple of days off and then come in and trained hard and we will then get another rest before a full week’s training.
“It has been a good start and after the rest we will be ready to go again.
“There is no doubt we are a lot stronger this year than we were last year and we have been picking up points at times when we have not played that well.
“I feel that before the first international break we were playing really well and not picking up the points we wanted at the time, so it has probably evened it out a bit since.
“I feel we have a lot more room for improvement and potential throughout the season, so hopefully we can continue what we’ve been doing and stay at the top end of the league.”
Reaching the century of North End appearances was a positive milestone for Ben and he took the time to thank those involved in making it happen.
“It is a good feeling,” he continued. “I didn’t realise until I saw it on social media that it was my 100th game for the Preston North End.
“It is a big achievement and I am happy and proud to get to that milestone and I have got everyone at the club and my family to thank for that.
“For five years my mum and ad between them got me through to Preston for training and at times it didn’t look like it would not be a success long term, but credit to everyone, we all stuck in there and didn’t give up and it is something for the boys in the Academy and the parents to aspire to, to keep giving them an opportunity to come through and hopefully be successful.”
The team’s start has been in stark contrast to 12 months ago, something the No.6 feels has given them a solid platform to build from: “I remember last year around January time we put a good run of results together, but we gave ourselves too much to do because of our start to the season, so it was on everyone’s minds to have a good start to the season and then we don’t have to play catch up as much and then if we put our runs together, like we know we can, we are already in a good position.
“Everyone is happy with where we are in the table and how things are going, but we are realistic as well.
“We are only a quarter of the way into the season and there is lots of football to be played and some difficult games to come. It is a good start, but that is all it is at the moment.”
However, he admits that the dressing room is not getting carried away after the recent form: “The manager has a big part to play – he is a winner and he wants to be successful and you don’t get that from a quarter of a season.
“We are a bit different to the fans, who might get carried away; we are realistic, we go out onto the pitch and try and win every game.
“It is good that they are enjoying it, but we are focused on what we need to do at the training ground,” he added.