Ryan Lowe is confident his side can come out on top of a second Lancashire derby of the month when Blackburn Rovers arrive at Deepdale on Monday night.
North End beat fellow Lancashire rivals Blackpool at the beginning of April and are now preparing to host Rovers in front of the Sky Sports cameras for a 7.30pm kick-off on Monday evening.
Tony Mowbray brings his side to Deepdale in poor form, having won just twice in their last 15 games, and that has derailed what was looking like a strong push for promotion.
Ryan told iFollow PNE: “It’s not going to be easy, we know that. Tony Mowbray’s done a fantastic job up there, he’s really had them playing some good football.
“They’ve been in the top end of the division, the top six probably nearly all season, and they’ve just fallen away and they’ll want to try and put that right and get back in.
“I’ve got the utmost respect for Tony and know where he’s trying to take the club and take the team, so we know it’s going to be a difficult evening, but it’s one that we’re looking forward to.
“If we do what we’ve been doing in games of late where we’ve been well in games, winning games, then I’m quite confident.
“But you’ve got to be, haven’t you? Especially at home and in a derby, with the way we’re playing in different types of games, different styles, I’m really looking forward to it, but it’s going to be tough.”
Deepdale has been a difficult place for teams to come and get a result since Ryan’s appointment, with North End only losing the one game at home since his arrival.
For Rovers, it’s been a different story away from Ewood Park, having struggled on their travels of late, taking just three points from a possible 27.
Ryan, though, feels their performances have warranted more than the results suggest.
“You analyse the performances rather than results because they’ve still got some fantastic players,” he said.
“I was watching them yesterday and I thought they were fantastic against Stoke.
“They had some great opportunities to score and Stoke scored with a ball round the corner and they were in, and that was it, they kept the back door shut.
“But they’re a big threat, they’ve got some big players, and it’s one we’ve got to make sure we’re ready for.”
This fixture marks the penultimate home game of the current season, with just Middlesbrough left to come to Deepdale on the final day.
Barnsley makes up the other fixture in that period – the Gentry Day trip to Oakwell at the end of the month – and Ryan is looking to take a good amount of points from the last three matches.
“We want to finish the season on a high,” he affirmed. “We want to win as many games as we possibly can.
“We’ve got three left, two are at home, and they’re going to be important for us.
“They’re important for the fans, we want them to be brought back and buying the season tickets for next season to come and watch the lads, to cheer them on to where we want to try and take the football club and take the team.
“If you win them games at home especially then it always bodes well for the fans coming through the door and getting more people in the stadium, and that’s certainly something we’re looking to do.”