Preston North End’s Irish international Alan Browne says a big vocal away following at Ewood Park on Saturday can provide an extra level for the team on the pitch.
The Lilywhites’ No.8 spoke to iFollow PNE ahead of the clash with Blackburn Rovers and said that it was good game to try and start another good of form with.
“We have had some good results in recent years and on the back of a few defeats, there is no better game to try and get back to winning ways and hopefully we can go there and do a job,” said Alan.
“There’s a build up to these games from a couple of weeks beforehand. You see on social media a bit of a rivalry growing and the fans always get right behind us, come in their numbers and sell out the away end and hopefully they can do that again this season and help us get back to winning ways as well.
“I think a big, full away end does make a big difference. When your fans get behind you and can get the better of the home fans, it creates a good all-round atmosphere, which travels from them onto us on the pitch and gives us something to go for. It can get us right up the pitch and support every attack and that does help.
“I saw on social media that they [PNE fans] got straight into it when the lower tier was given to them and, hopefully, they can - the same as last year - get right behind us and sell it out.”
The team were given a couple of days off after the bust Christmas schedule and as well as being left out for the FA Cup tie, the midfielder was grateful of the rest, especially with plenty going on away from PNE, with him due to become a father for the first time in the very near future.
“They have been really good,” he said of the time away. “I don’t think I have needed a break like this in the long time, so for me personally it has been good to have a few days off. With not playing on Saturday, I had three days off and others were rested too and it was good.
“Other lads who haven’t been playing got their chance and there were a few good performances. The result didn’t go our way, but I am sure the gaffer will have been given a few selection headaches.
“This year will be a big year for me. I am focused on the football at the moment, but off the field there is a big change me and I have to adjust to that, whilst also concentrating on my football.”
Browney believes that after that rest and with most of the squad now fit again, that the team have no excuses not to return to the form they showed in the early weeks of the season.
“DJ is back out on the pitch, which is great to see, and hopefully we can have our full squad back out there as soon as possible.
“He has been a major loss for us, having scoring some really important goals for us at the start of the season and hopefully he can come back and continue that form.
“Other players, myself included, have to step up now. It hasn’t been good enough over the last few weeks, so we have no excuses, we have had our rest and now we are ready to go again.
“We have just had one of our worst runs of games, but hopefully that’s the end of that now. We should not be performing like that for the rest of the season and hopefully we can finish the season how we started it, which was really good, and see where that takes us.
“It was a bad run of games, but it is not the end of the world; we know that, the manager knows that and it is up to us to go and improve it. We have no excuses now, we are nearly up to full strength in terms of the squad and we have had a rest, so hopefully we can finish how we started,” he added.