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First Team News

Declan Rudd Looking To Start 2021 Positively

31 December 2020

First Team News

Declan Rudd Looking To Start 2021 Positively

31 December 2020

Preston North End goalkeeper Declan Rudd says that the recent form of the team has been down to ‘everyone doing their jobs’.

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The Lilywhites have won their last three games and also their last three homes games, all without conceding a goal and he admits that this was an area they needed to improve upon.

Speaking to iFollow PNE to look ahead to the new year clash with Nottingham Forest at Deepdale the North End No.1 said: “It is something we needed to work on. We had conceded the most goals in the league at the beginning of December.

“It wasn’t helped by a mixture of injuries and other things, but we seem to have sorted that out recently.

“To get three clean sheets on the bounce, for any team, is a collection of everyone doing their jobs and it is fully deserved.”

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The manager spoke in his preview piece about the team changing their style in recent weeks and Dec says that it might not be as good to watch, but the results have been undeniable.

“The way we have played over the past three years, teams know how to cancel you out, because they have played against you and they know how you play, so it makes it a lot more difficult to have that impact you have been having in previous seasons,” he continued.

“We have taken a step back, simplified things and gone back to basics.

“The last three games have not been pretty to play in and probably not been pretty to watch for people, but the league is about results and we have got nine points from three games and that is all that matters.”

With the Forest clash being the mid-point of the campaign, reflecting on what has gone so far, the ’keeper says the team’s efforts to win games have meant a bit of a rollercoaster of emotions: “We are the type of team that if we are drawing a game, we would rather push on to try and win it than sit back and take the point.

“It goes to show in that we have only drawn two games this season – we have won ten and lost ten. Although it puts quite a lot of losses on the tally, we have earned more wins from doing it that way.

“You look at the table and teams who have drawn a lot of games and won less are below us, so picking up those wins is important. You are going to get beaten in this league, every game is tough, but we have gone out and tried to win every game and that makes it harder.

“You know the situation of the season and how tough it is and with all the games going on, you can very quickly put something right that went on two days before, so it is a bit of a rollercoaster, but we have been trying to make sure we get some sort of consistency. And we have done that in the last week; we have got three good wins, three clean sheets and we just have to build on that now.

“We have to keep it tight at the back, because we are always going to score goals with the way we play, so if we can keep it defensively tight, we have a good chance.

“If we go out there on Saturday and don’t perform and don’t do our best, it takes away the positivity we have created and the momentum.

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“I have said before, we are the type of team that likes to create a bit of momentum and we can go on a ten or 12 game run without losing. We have shown over the last four years that we can put a good run together and it really can help us get up the league.

“That is what we have to try and do, because we have been too inconsistent so far, leading up to this month in particular.”

The first test of 2021 is Forest and the former Norwich City man fully expects them to improve their current position in the league, knowing very well how Chris Hughton works.

“I worked with Chris at Norwich and he gets a team set up very well.

“They are hard to beat and they are the type of team that if they score the first goal, they are very hard to break down, because they sit in and make it a very tough game to get back into.

“We have been making it tough for the opposition lately as well and it will be all about who performs better on the day.

“If we can perform better than them, then hopefully we will get a good result,” he added.

You can watch Saturday’s game live on iFollow PNE. Jonathan Breeze and former North End and Forest skipper Paul McKenna are in the Deepdale hot seats bringing all the action live from just after 2.30pm. Click here now to sign up for an iFollow PNE match pass for just £10.

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