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First Team News

Duane Says PNE Need To ‘Come Back Firing’

7 October 2023

Duane Holmes feels Preston North End need to “come back firing” after the international break, having – by his own admission – dropped their performance levels in the last week.

PNE made a stunning start to the season, going unbeaten in the opening eight matches of the Sky Bet Championship campaign, winning six of those.

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North End now go into the break, though, on the back of three successive defeats, albeit two of those were against the division’s top two.

Duane said: “We know we’re going to lose games in this division. It’s a tough division. 

“We started really well. Against West Brom we weren’t ourselves, we all know that. We went in bitterly disappointed.

“Wednesday [against Leicester City] was tough. They’re a good team and I think we nullified them for 60 minutes, and obviously they get the goal and it’s hard to come back at that point. 

“Today little errors have cost us, but we’re still in a good position.

“It’s still a good start and a good foundation, and we need to come back after the break firing.

“We know we’re in a good place but we know the performances this past week haven’t been to our standard, and that’s our job to put it right and it starts when we come back.”

PNE went into half-time 3-1 down against Ipswich Town, with Mads Frøkjær’s equaliser being followed by goals from Brandon Williams and Nathan Broadhead.

At that stage, Ryan Lowe opted to make a triple change, with Duane being one of those introduced, while Ben Whiteman also came on and it was he who pulled one back for North End.

Duane said: “I think at half-time we knew that once we regained the ball we needed to keep it a bit longer. 

“We were trying to get it forward too quick, just turning the ball over and Ipswich are a good side who keep the ball and work their chances, which they did. 

“I don’t think there was too much to come back from at half-time. 

“Obviously we came back in the second half and scored, and it looked like we were on top a bit, and then obviously the fourth goal kills us.”

When PNE were on the aforementioned unbeaten run and winning streak, the consistent message out of the dressing room was to not get carried away, and likewise Duane feels it's important that the same message is followed during the current run.

He said: “We’ve had many meetings us as players about keeping a level head and not getting too high when we’re winning and not getting too low when we’re losing, and we’re third in the table.

"It’s just a shame that our fans have travelled so far this week and we’ve not performed. The only way we can put that right is when we’re back from the break.”

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