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First Team News

PNE Can’t Let Season ‘Fizzle Out’ Says Greg

1 April 2022

First Team News

PNE Can’t Let Season ‘Fizzle Out’ Says Greg

1 April 2022

With eight games left of the season, Greg Cunningham is looking for PNE to ensure their campaign doesn’t “fizzle out”.

North End sit 14th in the Championship table heading into the final block of fixtures, which begins with a trip to Derby County on Saturday.

A top-six finish is still mathematically within reach, and PNE will also likely play a part in the final standings at both ends of the table, with games against promotion pushers and relegation contenders making up part of the final stretch.

Greg said: “It’s just about making sure that the season doesn’t fizzle out because that’s not who we are.

“That’s not what we’re about. We make sure we give 100 per cent every time we go on that pitch.

“Whether people think the season’s done and dusted, that’s their opinion, but we have to make sure that we perform to the best we can.

“Whether something can happen this season or not is another story, but momentum is a crazy thing. Even if things don’t happen this season it can carry us through to next season and we can get away for the summer and hit the ground running again, but Derby is in our minds.”

The Rams have had a turbulent time off the pitch in recent months, with the club in administration, and that has meant the playing staff have been given a major task in overcoming a 21-point handicap.

They’ve embraced the job at hand, though, winning 11 games so far this season, but they do still find themselves rock bottom of the Championship table.

Greg added: “With the points deduction, they could have easily crumbled and really gone under, but they’ve shown that resilience on the pitch.

“Wayne Rooney’s got them playing some good football. I know their form of late has been a little bit sticky, but without that points deduction they’d be well comfortable in having a relatively decent season so they’re going to be a big threat.

“Just because at this moment in time they’re bottom of the league, we’re not going to take them lightly at all.

“You can’t afford to in this division, so it’s important that we show up like we’ve been doing all week, prepare right, and make sure we go and get the win and see where that takes us.”

Away from preparations for the trip to Pride Park, it was announced on Thursday morning that goalkeeper Declan Rudd would retire from football due to a knee injury.

Greg and Dec have been together during two different stints at PNE in recent years, and the Irish defender paid tribute to his teammate.

He said: “We’re hugely disappointed for him. Dec’s a great lad, a great player, and I know he had a lot more to give to the game.

“It’ll be a tough time for him, that transitional period finishing quite quickly in football. He’s the same age as me so plenty more life in him.

“It’s hugely disappointing for him, but I know the type of person he is and he’ll really relish the next chapter in his life.”

Watch Greg's interview for free now on iFollow PNE.

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