PNE back in the Hunt

Paul Huntington at the awards evening
Paul Huntington at the awards evening
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Paul Huntington says Preston are looking to pick up where they left off when they resume action this weekend after the international break.

The Lilywhites play host to Blackburn on Saturday, the derby set to attract a bumper crowd at Deepdale.

Centre-half Huntington goes into the game fresh from being named League One player of the year at the North West Football Awards.

The award covered last season’s promotion campaign in which the 28-year-old played a crucial role.

It was a North End double at the awards ceremony held in Manchester, with Simon Grayson winning the manager of the year award.

Huntington told the Evening Post: “Blackburn at our place is another big game, one we are looking forward.

“There will be a big crowd and we have got to embrace the atmosphere.

“They have just changed their manager, we are on a good run, so I think it should be quite interesting out there.

“Hopefully we can build another mini run leading up to Christmas.

“It is a good game for the fans to look forward to and with us being the home team, we will be looking to take the game to them and get a positive result.”

Huntington was pleased to pick up the player of the year award, and was swift to praise the PNE supporters and staff for their backing.

He said: “First of all I’ve got to thank the fans who voted for me and have supported me in my time here.

“Thank-you to my team-mates for helping me along the way, and the staff for giving me the opportunity.

“It’s about the team but it is nice to win the award.”

Huntington is now fully fit after a hamstring injury, one from which he was eased back into action.

After four appearances from the bench as a substitute, he started the 0-0 draw at QPR before the international break.

Said Huntingon: “I had a bit of a niggle for four or five weeks, which wasn’t ideal.

“I’m fine now and it was good to play the last game.”

All the PNE squad got time on the pitch in a practice game against Fleetwood at Springfields yesterday.

Preston won 5-1 with Eoin Doyle, Huntington, Josh Brownhill, Will Keane and Jordan Hugill on target.

Meanwhile, PNE striker Andy Little has joined Blackpool on loan until January 2. He has not played in the first team this term.