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First Team News

Hughesy Ready To Go Again After International Break

14 September 2023

First Team News

Hughesy Ready To Go Again After International Break

14 September 2023

After going the opening five matches of the season unbeaten and sitting top of the league as a result, Andrew Hughes didn’t want the September international break to arrive.

Preston North End have made a fantastic start to the Sky Bet Championship campaign, winning four and drawing one, taking them to the summit of the division at this early stage.

Having won 2-0 at Stoke City at the beginning of the month, the pause to action arguably came at a bad time for PNE when momentum was high.

On the season so far, Hughesy said: “It’s been good. It’s kind of one of those situations where you maybe don’t want the break.

“I didn’t want the break personally because I wanted to keep the momentum going, but I suppose for the injured lads coming back it’s probably been good for them.

“Momentum is 100% a big thing. Especially in this league, you get a couple of wins and then you parachute up to where you need to be.

“I think it’s a big factor and something you can’t take for granted.”

As the left-sided defender alluded to, what the period without a match has done has allowed some injured players to get themselves back fit.

Ben Whiteman and Robbie Brady – who have both been unavailable for the season so far – have recently returned to full training and will be in contention for Saturday’s clash at Deepdale against Plymouth Argyle.

In the absence of several first team players, such as forward duo Ched Evans and Emil Riis, a number of youngsters have not just made up the numbers but featured in competitive action.

Hughesy said: “Firstly, I take my hat off to the young lads that have had to step up being on the bench and coming on in games.

“They’ve done incredibly well because they’ve been asked a lot and they’ve all done themselves proud and chipped in.

“But it is an exciting time now with the senior lads we’ve got coming back.

“We’ve got players coming back, players that are already back and we’ve brought the new lad (Milutin Osmajić) in as well.

“It all helps to strengthen the squad and I think we’re in a better place than we were before we finished for the break.”

In Plymouth Argyle, North End face a team this weekend new to the Championship, following their title-winning campaign last time out.

Ryan Lowe’s former side have made a steady start to the season, having picked up seven points from their opening five matches, and will come to Deepdale looking for their first victory on the road.

Hughesy added: “I don’t know a great deal about them, but League One is a very good league and for them to win that league, they’re going to be a decent side. We know that.

“We’ll have all the information on them over the next couple of days and we’ll be raring to go on Saturday.

“We want to make Deepdale a fortress. There’s nothing better than when you’re winning games there and the fans are singing and getting right behind you. We just want to maintain our form at home.”

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