Manager Ryan Lowe will not be taking Huddersfield Town’s league position into consideration while preparing for his side’s Boxing Day clash with the Terriers.
The team from West Yorkshire will arrive at Deepdale sat bottom of the table and with the lowest goals scored tally in the division.
However, they’re the sort of statistics that the PNE boss has no interest in ahead of the game, knowing that any team can cause problems on any given day.
He told iFollow PNE: “Just because Huddersfield are down at the bottom, it means nothing.
“They’ve still got some fantastic players. The manager’s trying his best to work with the group he’s got, and he’ll probably look to try and add a few more players.
“They’ve changed a little bit in terms of the style, so we know it’s going to be a tough game.
“Just because of where they are, it means nothing. It means it’s going to be harder.
“But it’s up to us to do what we need to do. We’ll put the gameplan together and if the lads can take it to fruition then hopefully we can have a good afternoon.”
North End head into the game on the back of last weekend’s defeat to Queens Park Rangers, which followed the fantastic 4-1 victory away to Blackburn Rovers.
It’s that little bit of inconsistency which Ryan is looking to put an end to, as his side look to maintain their position in and around the Play-Off places.
“It’s massive,” he said, talking about consistency.
“A couple of weeks before the break we’d had some good wins, three on the bounce with nine points and lost the other one, and then coming off the break you win a good derby and then losing to Queens Park Rangers was disappointing when we’ve looked at it back.
“I thought we’d done some good stuff in the game. I don’t think either team did enough to win, albeit they scored from a set play.
“It’s important that we try and find a bit of consistency. We’ve got a home game on Boxing Day, two away games before we’re back for the FA Cup, so if we can try and get as many points as we possibly can in the league it’ll give us a good platform to build on.”
Ever since being appointed as manager, Ryan has often spoken about the importance of treating his players as people off the pitch.
With that in mind, most of the preparation for Monday’s game will come prior to Christmas Day, so that the players are able to spend time at home.
He said: “They’ll spend it with their families, I think it’s important.
“We’ll do our work. We do two days build up to most games and one’s today [Thursday] and one’s tomorrow, and then everything’s set in stone ready for it.
“They’ll have a programme for themselves on Christmas morning where they have to get out and do their own thing, so I think it’s important.
“When you get lads in Christmas day – I’ve done it myself over the years – they don’t listen.
“They just can’t wait to get back to the Christmas spirits or we’re taking them away from young kids who are opening presents in the morning. It doesn’t really work.
“So the lads will spend time at home with their families which is the right thing to do, and they’ll be back ready and fighting for a game on Boxing Day.”