Ryan Lowe feels his side are playing for pride this weekend as they look to end their Championship campaign on a high.
Middlesbrough are the visitors to Deepdale for the 12.30pm kick-off on Saturday afternoon, and while Preston North End won’t trouble at either end of the table, the manager still feels his side have plenty to play for.
He wants the club to finish the campaign in the top half of the table – something they’re two points away from achieving – while Boro arrive in Lancashire looking to sneak into the Play-Off places.
“It's a bit of pride as well,” Ryan told iFollow PNE, when asked what the weekend’s game is about.
“I’ve said to the group we’re going to have a walk around the pitch at the end of the game on Saturday with the families, the players with their kids and whatnot, so we want that to be a winning walk around if you like – an appreciation – I don’t want it to be a losing one.
“That’s our main aim, and our goal, to make sure that we can get a result and good performance.
“Middlesbrough will have other things to worry about in terms of results going their way. They’re wanting to win to try and get into the Play-Offs.
“Fair play to Middlesbrough, they’ve given themselves a chance to get in there, but it’s about what we do on the day.”
After Saturday, North End will have to wait until the end of July until the new Championship season gets underway, and as always, summer brings the chance for incomings and outgoings.
The manager admits that recruitment has been going on for a while already, as he prepares to return in pre-season for what is set to be his first full season in charge.
Ryan said: “I think it’ll be good for us to sit down, restock and evaluate what we’ve done so far and what we need to do better for next season, along with the recruitment process of new players, of players coming and going, so it’s still going to be a busy few weeks.
“It’s one of them things, when you’re winning games of football you want the season to continue.
“I think after the Fulham and Blackburn games I wanted it to end there and then, but obviously when you pick up a good result and a good performance against Barnsley, we’re now looking forward to Saturday and we want to try and continue that.
“I think once we’ve sat down after Saturday and got everything out the way, then we’ll start planning for the future.”
One man who won’t be part of the North End squad next season is defender Paul Huntington, who has spent the past ten years at Deepdale.
It was confirmed on Thursday morning that the Cumbrian wouldn’t be staying at the club past the end of his current contract – which expires in the summer – and the manager praised the attitude of the 34-year-old.
He added: “What I will say is he’s been a credit to work with on a daily basis. He’s trained every day, he's never missed a day of training, he’s been available for every game that we’ve played, and he’s travelled with us of late because he’s earned that.
“He’ll be in the squad on Saturday and hopefully he can say his goodbyes because I think he’s been an absolutely tremendous servant to Preston North End, so credit where credit’s due.
“I still think he’s got unfinished business somewhere else. I think any League One team should literally look to snap him up straight away.
“I said to him if I was still a League One manager I’d be looking to sign a Paul Huntington because of what he brings to you. He’s a leader, he's a great lad, he trains like his heart’s on his sleeve every day.
“What he’s done for this football club over a ten year period has been nothing but fantastic.”
You can watch Ryan's full interview on iFollow PNE for free above.