Exclusive Anders Lindegaard PNE column

'I have yet to taste defeat in a North End shirt'

'I have yet to taste defeat in a North End shirt'

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Keeping footballers in a relaxed state of mind was one of the greatest strengths of Sir Alex Ferguson.

Being signed by Fergie for Manchester United in 2011, I got inside knowledge of the way the legendary manager worked on a daily basis.

He built United up with his bare hands, almost from scratch, into what it is today, which is the biggest sports brand on the planet.

Sir Alex was intimidating and you were borderline scared of him, but at the same time he provided a very relaxing environment for the players.

United is such a big club and there is so much pressure from almost everywhere.

So when you are within the club environment, it is important to feel relaxed and be focused on the game and not the whole circus which surrounds the club. In a way, I feel like things are the same here at Preston.

Obviously, it is very difficult to compare the two clubs, but our manager Simon Grayson is very good at keeping things relaxed and enjoyable.

I think that relaxed environment allows the players to perform at the highest possible level.

If you want to play to the very best of your ability then you have got to feel relaxed.

You have got to be able to enjoy what you are doing and be in a good mental state to go out and perform to your capabilities.

I definitely think that kind of environment has been created here at Preston. The proof of that has been shown in our results this season.

I guess you could say things could not have gone any better for me since I arrived on loan at the end of last month from West Bromwich Albion.

In five games, I have been on the winning side four times, with the only dropped points coming in a 0-0 draw against Derby County on my debut.

We have done very well and I think we have shown ourselves to be hard to beat and difficult to play against.

Defensively, we have been very well organised and I think our willingness to put in that extra effort has won us games.

There have been some very good performances and we’ve had a little bit of luck as well.

All in all, I’ve really enjoyed my time here so far. I have not played much over the last couple of seasons.

Last season I played only three times for United, and then only once for the Baggies this campaign after making the switch to the Hawthorns in the summer.

I have really missed not playing. It has been such a long time without regular football that I needed something to happen.

At 31, I am getting too old to be not playing. Sitting on the bench earning money was not exciting me.

To say I have been out for such a long time, I have felt quite comfortable in many aspects of my game since signing for Preston.

I still feel a little bit rusty, but I am working on that in training with the goalkeeper coach Alan Kelly.

My body needs to get accustomed to playing every week, but I can feel things are getting better and better each week and with each game.

It was not that long ago I was vying for a place in the United team with David de Gea.

When I signed for the Red Devils, I knew it was a bit of a gamble because I was not going to walk straight into the first team.

Edwin van der Sar was the No.1 at Old Trafford when I first joined and to be fair, they were very honest with me.

They told me that they were looking to bring in a top-class goalkeeper when Van der Sar eventually retired. The great thing for me was I got to work with Van der Sar, who is my big footballing hero.

When he retired I started to play more and more , but I then got a really bad injury, which sidelined me for six months, but probably kept me from my top level for more than a year.

It was a bad blow and I don’t think I ever recovered properly from that at United.

It was a dream come true to play for a club like United.

The season they last won the title, I managed to make enough appearances to be presented with a medal, which is a proud moment for me.

It’s a great place, a great club and part of me misses it every single day.

Apparently I am the first player from Denmark to ever represent Preston.

There was fan who was waiting outside the gate at Springfields, who told me this after my first training session.

I find that quite something, especially when you consider it is a club with such a rich and great history.

This weekend, we have a very tough game away at Cardiff, who are directly above us in the table.

After our recent good run, people have been asking us about the play-offs.

The players are not talking too much about finishing inside the top six, but it’s a nice feeling to be looking at how many points off the play-offs we are rather than looking over our shoulders at the bottom.