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First Team News

Joe Rafferty Preparing For Millwall Battle

28 October 2020

Preston North End defender Joe Rafferty says that he and his teammates will need to be ready for a battle on Wednesday evening when Millwall come to Deepdale.

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Raff, who has started the last four games for the Lilywhites, will be hoping to feature again midweek as Gary Rowett’s side come to PR1 on the back of a three-game unbeaten run, and Joe knows that the visitors won’t make it easy for PNE.

“Whenever you come up against Millwall you know it’s going to be quite a tough game,” Raff told iFollow PNE.

“They’re always quite a physical side so you’ve just got to be up for the battle, for the fight and hopefully once you win the battle then you can put your input on the game and go out and try and get the three points.

“I think as a club that’s kind of our main priority in any game. We want to go out and work harder than the opponent and we want to win our battles, win our headers, tackles and then we hope that our quality is better than theirs and I think that’s how we try and win every game.”

While Millwall will offer different threats to last weekend’s opponents Huddersfield, PNE may feel better prepared for Wednesday’s tie after leaving West Yorkshire with three points following a competitive encounter against the Terriers.

Raff was used as a left wing back in that game following a late tactical change, but has otherwise been playing in his more natural right back position recently.

He said: “The manager drummed it into us that it will be a battle and it’s a game where it can kind of be man for man in the game.

“To me it was like one of those training sessions where you’ve got to stay with your own man type of thing and we knew it was going to be tough and you’ve just got to get the better of your man and win the game that way.

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“I really enjoyed it, it’s good to play in your position. I know we always say we don’t mind playing wherever but it’s been good to get a good run of games.

“Obviously I ended up playing as a wing back on Saturday on the opposite side but it’s been brilliant and I just want to carry it on.”

Latest recruit Emil Riis was one of many impressive performers on Saturday in just his second start for the club following his full debut last week at Queens Park Rangers.

He’s come into a side which hasn’t seen too much rotation as of yet, with the likes of Ryan Ledson and Brad Potts being regulars so far this season, and Raff is not shocked at their heavy involvement.

“Us as players, we see these lads train every single day and we know that they can play, so once they’re coming into the team and doing well it’s not a massive surprise to us because we know that they’ve got that in them.

“Obviously Emil [Riis] hasn’t been here too long and the games he’s played he’s done really well, so hopefully we can just keep it going and the lads who aren’t in the team at the moment can keep pushing the lads in the team and that’s the only way we can get better and improve.

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“It just brings another dimension to our play really. I think he might have better qualities than others and others might have better qualities than him, but from the last two games it’s worked and he’s been a handful for the opposition defences, so as long as he keeps it up he’ll do really well.”

Watch Joe’s full interview by clicking on the video at the top of the page and sign up for an iFollow match pass to watch the full game live, with Jonathan Breeze and Paul McKenna bringing you full coverage from 6.45pm on Wednesday night.

Click here to sign up for an iFollow match pass for the game here.

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