North End head into their ninth game in 28 days when they face Bristol City in front of the Sky Sports cameras on Friday night and, if selected, Ben Davies will have played the last seven in 21 days.
And to add to his schedule, just before that spell, he became a father for the first time, however, his son is helping deal with the stresses and strains of a hectic schedule of fixtures.
“Everyone who has had a child will know the amazing feeling it is and you get home and it is a welcome distraction,” he told iFollow PNE in the run up to the visit of Dean Holden’s Robins to Deepdale.
“If you have had a bad day, they can bring a light to it, so that has been a more than welcome addition to the last few weeks.
“It has been really tough; all season really [with the amount of games]. We have only had the international breaks to have a bit of a break and it just feels relentless at times, but everyone is in the same boat – not that I feel it is right we are playing so many games in such a short period of time – it is one of those where you have to deal with it or die.
“You are putting your body through stresses they have been through before, but not for the time period we are currently putting in through. You look at the Christmas period, for example, it is thick and fast, but this year it is like that all season and everything is going to take its toll.
“We have picked up a lot of injuries compared to last year and that has become expected and you play as many games until you break down and then you have your recovery and you are back in. The schedule is ridiculous in many ways, but it is a unique year for everyone and we have to deal with it – but there’s no doubt about it, it is tough.
“They wanted to finish last season and then squeeze this season in and we have known that would be the case, but it takes its toll at times. Every team is in the same position and everyone has to deal with it for one season, as best they can, and that means people will break down throughout the year and it is who can keep the fittest squad and freshest squad that will do the best.”
The centre half, who came through the club’s Academy, is looking forward to leaving everything out on the pitch on Friday night, in the knowledge that – for the first time in a month – there is no midweek game between Friday and the following weekend’s Boxing Day trip to Derby County.
“One thing we have been lacking this year is consistency,” he continued. “We put a string of results together and a few games unbeaten last week, which was pleasing, but we need to try and minimise that inconsistency as best we can and that’s when you start to climb the table.
“We have got some wins and with the quick turnaround, we just need to attack the next game and with them coming thick and fast, the next one is on Friday night.
“For me personally, I felt brilliant when I came back, but the accumulation of fixtures, my tank empties slightly quicker as we have gone on, which has been tough, but hopefully on Friday we can play strongly all the way through and then enjoy a slight bit of rest before it all kicks-off again.”
The No.6 will be looking to continue his own good record against the Robins in the 8pm kick-off on Friday evening, even though he sees last year’s entertaining 3-3 home draw as a disappointment and a wrong to put right.
“We have enjoyed or time against Bristol City in the last few years. That stopped at Deepdale last year [3-3], which was disappointing, but we can bounce back from that.
“We know that they are a good side, but there is that little bit of a rivalry – from I’m not sure where – and that makes you want to do well,” he added.
There’s more from Ben in the extended interview, as he talks about his growing responsibility at the back, playing in the middle of a back three against Barnsley on Tuesday night and enjoying his role within the team, just click on the video at the top of the page to watch the full nine minutes.
On Friday night we will still have iFollow PNE available for ‘option 1’ season ticket holders and overseas supporters – and Jonathan Breeze and Paul McKenna will be on air from 7.30pm – just click here to check if a match pass is available in your region.