Ryan Ledson is hoping for another special Lancashire derby at Deepdale this weekend, describing the atmosphere during last year’s victory over Blackpool as “one of the best” he’s seen.
The midfielder missed the game due to the knee operation which he underwent last March, but he was watching on as North End beat their fiercest Lancashire rivals by a single goal to nil.
On-loan forward Cameron Archer was the man who got the goal – which went on to be voted as the best of the season – and PNE took the three points in the first meeting between the two at Deepdale since 2013.
Ryan said: “I wasn’t involved but I was in the stands, and it was probably one of the best I’ve seen Deepdale – it was bouncing.
“Obviously after Cam’s goal we won 1-0 and it was a great night, and then obviously back in the changing room everyone was buzzing and that’s a feeling that we want again.
“It’s always brilliant when it is like that. When the fans come and they sing and they’re positive, it can only help the lads; it always does.
“Hopefully when we play Blackpool, we can get the first goal and get it really bouncing, then we’ll be in for a good afternoon.
“Obviously the result that we had against them last time we played them, I didn’t think it was a fair result.
“I think we were the better side, but we’re looking to change that. Obviously we know how much it means and we’ve got to be right up for it and ready for it.”
Saturday marks the start of the end of season run-in for Ryan Lowe’s side, with just eight games of the regular Championship campaign remaining.
PNE currently sit 12th in the table heading into the weekend, seven points away from the Play-Off positions and well clear of the division’s bottom three.
Ryan said: “I think we’re going to have a meeting to set ourselves a points target and try and get to that.
“Personally I think these next three games are massive for us.
“I think if we can go and pick up six or seven points in these next three games, and you’re looking at it with five games to go, you just never know what’s going to happen.
“You might be five or six points off it – it might be too much – but we'll just try and get as many points as we can to finish as high as we can. We’ll just see where that takes us.”
The Lilywhites had gone seven games unbeaten prior to their last fixture, just before the international break, against Middlesbrough which saw the hosts win 4-0.
Ryan, though, feels the squad has held on to that confidence and momentum which saw them enjoy a run without defeats.
“I think we have,” he added. “We were in a great vein of form, we were seven unbeaten with a few wins and a few draws, but we were looking at going in the right direction.
“Middlesbrough was just a bad afternoon all round I think. Don’t get me wrong, I think they’re a very good side and I think they’ll go up with Burnley.
“But listen, we’ve got to put that to bed and we already have. We’ve had a good few days off, a good week of training, we’ve got all the lads back now from international duty and two days [of training] now on Thursday and Friday – we're ready to go.”