Ryan Lowe is calling for more bravery from his players as Preston North End prepare for the visit of Luton Town.
PNE host the Hatters for a 7.45pm kick-off on Wednesday night, and the Lilywhites will be looking to get back on track after suffering consecutive defeats.
The most recent outing was the 3-0 loss to Burnley in a Lancashire derby at Turf Moor, and Ryan has been having discussions with his squad at Euxton since then.
The gaffer said: “We had a debrief on Monday of the game, not just that game but other games.
“We’ve had a debrief in terms of whether the players are low in confidence, or whether it’s being more brave on the ball and making the right choices.
“We’ve got to make sure we’re brave first and foremost, and we’ve got to get the confidence back up there because it was only a couple of months ago that we were keeping clean sheets and we were scoring goals and winning games.
“We were going away to Norwich and Stoke and performing to the level that we expect.
“Now we’ve got to try and build them blocks to try and do that at home, but the conversations with the players have been brilliant. They’ve taken it on board.
“They’ve been in for a lot of criticism – we all have – which is fine. We don’t want that, but it comes with the nature of football.
“What we’ve got to do is start believing that we can collect points and hopefully that can start on Wednesday night.”
It’s no secret that results at Deepdale so far this season haven’t been at the desired level, and North End go into Wednesday having lost each of their last five league outings on home turf.
There is, and always has been, full confidence in the manager’s mind, though, that home form will improve.
“We have spoken about it,” he said. “It is just a game of football, but we know we’ve got to put it right collectively. It’s a collective thing.
“Once we do that, whether it’s one point or three points, you can climb because you build on something.
“What we’ve got to start doing is putting building blocks in place to start building to try and get wins at home.
“As I’ve said, the points away from home have been fine, but we really want to get that home form right.
“Honestly, it’s been a great couple of days with the group. We’ve talked about other things as well, how we feel we can get better: individual things, accountability from all the players and all of us.
“We’ve got to go on Wednesday night and give it a real good go and a real good account of ourselves, and that’s going to be the aim.”
A number of supporters were able to see some of PNE’s preparations for the visit of Rob Edward’s side, with the club hosting an open training day on Monday.
It was a great turnout as young supporters and families watched the first team train, before then meeting the squad and collecting autographs.
“It was a fantastic day,” added Ryan. “When the kids are off school it’s always nice to have those days, especially up here at Euxton at the training ground.
“They can see what we’re doing and how we’re going about our business.
“I thought the players were fantastic with all the fans. They were probably there for an hour and ten minutes some of them signing all the autographs.
“The kids had a good day out and I think some of the parents enjoyed it as well to be fair, watching how training was going.
“Every time a goal was going in they were cheering, so it was great to have them around, so a big thank you from me, the players and the staff because it’s important they come up and see what we’re doing and see the environment which is always a bubbly one.
“Even when you’re not winning games of football you have to have that, and I thought yesterday was excellent for them all to see.”