Paul’s Hunting for PNE success

Paul Huntington has been a regular in Preston's defence
Paul Huntington has been a regular in Preston's defence
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Paul Huntington says the challenge of helping Preston North End establish themselves in the Championship is a pleasure to be part of.

The 28-year-old has been a mainstay in PNE’s defence over the last 15 months.

He was a key figure in last season’s promotion and this campaign has played his part in the Lilywhites settling in well to life in the second tier.

“All the time, the lads are growing in confidence, said Huntington.

“Even though the Ipswich game last Saturday maybe wasn’t one of the best, we worked hard and got something out of it.

“The manager sat us down in the dressing room at Ipswich and really hit the nail on the head with what he said.

“He told us we had the spirit and togetherness to go and get results whoever we play.

“Most of the group have been here for a couple of years now and we have forged a good bond.

“It is a good set of lads here and it’s a pleasure to go out on the pitch with your mates.

“We are often asked what our target is for the season, what we are aiming for.

“All we aim for is to try and win the next game and see where that takes us.

“Sometimes if you set yourselves a particular position, you can actually be setting the bar a bit mediocre.

“We prepare for every game with a mind-set of winning it – if we don’t win it we try and get the next best thing, a draw.

“It was the same approach last season and that didn’t do us any harm.

“We took four points from the two away games last week, while it is three wins from our last four league games.

“I think we can be pleased with that and now we want to extend the good run against Brentford here on Saturday.

“We have got 35 points at the moment, which is good.

“This is an unpredictable division at times, some of the results last weekend left you scratching your head a bit.”

The 1-1 draw at Ipswich was a somewhat painful one for Huntington.

He was poleaxed towards the end by team-mate Sam Johnstone, taking the keeper’s knee full in the face.

However, Huntington was not complaining at being laid out and hopes to be seeing a lot more of Johnstone if his loan from Manchester United can be extended.

Said Huntington: “Sam caught me as he came out to punch a cross clear.

“He did his job and cleared the ball, that is what a keeper has to do.

“As a defence, we have been fortunate to have had some good keepers behind us.

“We had Jordan Pickford for the first part of the season and now Sam.

“Even before that, there was Declan Rudd who is now playing in the Norwich team.

“A lot of credit has to go to the staff – they have picked some good young goalkeepers with a lot of potential.”