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First Team News

Keano Relishing Test Against High-Flying Leicester City

3 October 2023

First Team News

Keano Relishing Test Against High-Flying Leicester City

3 October 2023

Will Keane says he and his teammates are determined to put the first defeat of the season behind them as they travel to face the top two this week.

Preston North End went into Saturday’s home clash against West Bromwich Albion as the only remaining unbeaten side in the Sky Bet Championship, but the Baggies left Deepdale with a 4-0 victory.

With so many positives to take from the season so far, though, striker Will has full faith in his side and stressed North End will be looking to put things right on Wednesday night when they face high-flying Leicester City.

Asked if he’s confident the West Brom defeat was just a blip, Will said: “It’s up to us. It’s our responsibility to make that happen and to put it right.

“I think all the other games we’ve set our levels and we fell below them on Saturday.

“It’s not about one individual. We win together and we lose together – as a team.

“We’re obviously really determined. It’s a tough place to go tomorrow but it’s one that we relish and if we go there and put in a performance like we know we can, we can get a result.

“They’ve got a lot of quality throughout their squad and they’ve been a Premier League team in recent years, but these are the games we look forward to, and we want to go and perform.

“Obviously we’re aware of the threats they pose, but we’ll definitely go there and focus on ourselves.”

Coming on as a second-half substitute, Will made his return from injury last weekend.

The striker, who has scored four times this season for PNE, limped off on international duty with Republic of Ireland in a UEFA EURO qualifier against France and as a result missed three league matches.

Will said: “Obviously it was very disappointing. No one wants to get injured, but especially with the start we’ve had, you’re itching to get out there every game.

“It was a minor setback but fortunately it was only a couple of weeks, and despite the result on Saturday it was a positive for me to get on the pitch and enjoy being back out there with the lads.

“I knew it wasn’t something that would set me back for too long, but on the same note I’ve had similar before so I knew it would probably be a couple of weeks and fortunately that was the case. It was nothing more severe than that.

“Obviously coming on in a game like that [against France] and it being such a great experience, it was disappointing to come off with an injury, but I’ve worked hard the last couple of weeks and been well looked after, so I’m glad to be back in the mix now.”

Despite being one of the newest additions to the side, Will has taken no time at all to settle back at Preston North End, where he had a short loan spell in 2015.

Something which manager Ryan Lowe has been vocal about so far this season is the togetherness and camaraderie within the squad, and with experience of promotion in his career Will knows how important that can be.

Will added: “I think that’s a massive thing that you need for a long season. You need that togetherness.

“We know it’s not just 11 lads, it’s the whole group and you’ve got to have that mentality that you know you’re going to have the odd setback, but it’s how you respond.

“We’ll keep being positive and looking forward. Especially with the start we’ve had, we’ve created that positive atmosphere and we definitely want to get back on track tomorrow and keep that going.”

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