Preston North End forward David Nugent is looking forward to playing in front of a big away following at Craven Cottage on Saturday and is looking forward to the test Fulham will provide.
Speaking to iFollow PNE ahead of the trip to the capital the Lilywhites’ No.35 looked back on the game between the sides back in December, when he was on the scoresheet, and expects a similar sort of style when they line-up against Scott Parker’s men on the banks of the River Thames.
“I saw bits of the game [against Swansea City on Wednesday night],” he said. “We know how to play against them; we put on a good performance against them at home and won 2-1 – there was also a couple of red cards in the game, but we got the win that day and hopefully we can go to Craven Cottage and do exactly the same.
“It will be a good game. They are flying high again and are third in the league between the two leaders, but we are in confident mood.
“We have a bit of a slip up against West Brom, but the games come thick and fast in this league and there is no better game than to go and play against someone who is above us and try and get the three points and put a bit of pressure on them.
“It will be a great atmosphere. It is always good to play against the best teams in the division and Fulham are right up there.
“They have a unique style of play – playing out from the back – but I think that suits us down to the ground, as we showed when we played them at home. If we play to the best of our ability, I am sure we can go there and get a result.”
Nuge has gone from being the young head in the dressing room in his first spell to being the wise old man now and he hopes his plentiful experience at the top end of the Championship will play its part in the remaining 11 games.
“The results went for us the last couple of weeks, but we can’t do anything about the other teams, we just have to concentrate on our own results first,” he continued.
“Hopefully we can get back to winning ways on Saturday and stay in the top six on merit and try and keep the teams below us and open up a bit of a gap.
“When you are at the training ground, it is a case of looking at one game at a time, but when you are at home, you look at who you have got and where you might pick up points.
“But as players, we have to concentrate on Fulham. It is not going to be easy, they are fighting to get into the top two, but we have to try and put a dent in their aspirations and at the same time, pull away from those behind us who are trying to push us.
“I am trying to guide the lads in a way I can help. I have been involved in a lot of Play-Offs – for most of my career – and it is up to me to lend my experience to the younger players who haven’t been there.
“It is a massive opportunity to be involved in, everyone is watching and it is a chance to try and get to Wembley and get into the Premier League and I will be helping as much as I can on and off the field to try and get a top six place.
“It is roles reversed from my first spell here. I have had a great career so far and if I can help some of the players with a Play-Off experience – if we can get there – then I will enjoy it.”
As the manager stated in his pre-match press conference for the game, with ten games to go after this weekend, we are now entering ‘squeeky bum time’, so is the dressing room feeling any pressure?
“We tend not to feel under any pressure. There are a lot of big clubs in this league who are expecting to be above us, but we are that team that everyone doesn’t want to play.
“We have a lot of energy in our team and we have a lot of players who want to play in the Premier League and are really hungry. We just want to show that week in, week out – trying to pick up results and stay in the Play-Offs and I am sure that if we can get in there, we can cause an upset.
“It is all about how you finish the season. This is the time of year when we have to pick up results, to try and solidify our place in the Play-Offs and put the teams above us under the pressure.
“If we go to Fulham and get a result, people will stand up and take a look at the league table and start to fear us, rather than thinking we are just that small team called Preston – if we get a result people will see that we are ready for it,” he added.