Andrew Hughes praised the performances of central defender Patrick Bauer after his recent return from injury.
The German defender made his first appearance in the Championship in 2021 in the home win against Peterborough United, scoring on that day, and he followed that up with a strong performance in the win against Swansea City.
Pat has been playing in the centre of a back three in recent games, with Hughesy to his left, and the Welshman told iFollow PNE: “I thought he was excellent against Swansea. He’s made a big difference and long may it continue.
“I like playing next to him, I just need to try and understand his accent!
“He’s made such a big difference and I’m just buzzing that he’s back. He got his goal and hopefully he can kick on again.”
Next up for North End is a trip to Bristol City on Saturday and that starts a run which sees Frankie McAvoy's men play seven matches between this weekend and 2nd October.
Hughesy added: “We’ll go toe to toe with them, see what they’ve got and like I said we’ll try and get all three points.
“I think you’ve just got to take it game by game. You’ve just got to try and recover as best as you can and just roll out there for the next game!
“It’s tough. It’s a game every three days, or something like that. It’s mentally, physically tough, but that’s the whole reason why we’re bringing in signings. That’s why we’ve got a squad for situations like this.
“Especially if you get a negative result, you want the next game to put the result right, and vice versa. If you win, you want the next game to get more points, or whether it’s a cup game to go again, whatever the situation is.”
After a tricky start to the campaign, the three victories in succession have lifted the confidence in the group, according to Hughesy.
He added: “We didn’t get off to the best of starts so to get them three results was exactly what we needed.
“I think we’ve all mentioned the Swansea game. It was a really enjoyable game and to put the performance on that we did, we owed it to the fans I think for the start that we made for the season.
“It’s one of them. At the start of a new season, everyone’s eager just to get points on the board and to get off to a good start and we unfortunately couldn’t do that, but we’re confident going forward now after the three wins so we’re looking forward to Saturday.”
In contention to feature are new signings Josh Murphy and Ali McCann, with the latter still to join up with his team-mates on Friday at Euxton.
Murphy, though, has met and been training with his new squad and Hughesy said new faces through the door can only help the team.
“It’s always a boost,” he said. “It’s always nice to freshen the place up and add competition again and touching back on Pat, having Pat back is like a new signing.
“Going forward it’s always going to be beneficial to the team, and like you said Josh has played in the Championship for many years and hopefully he can contribute to the team as well.”