PNE star Joe is aiming to prove his point

Joe Garner

Joe Garner

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Joe Garner believes that Preston North End can slip under the radar and quietly establish themselves in the Championship.

The Lilywhites got their league campaign off to a solid start last weekend, sharing a goalless draw with promotion favourites Middlesbrough.

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Following their Capital One Cup win at Crewe in Wednesday night, they return to league action at MK Dons today, the Buckinghamshire club having been promoted with North End from League One last season.

Garner, scorer of 51 goals in the last two campaigns, said: “First and foremost, the main objective of any promoted side is to stay in the division.

“We are confident in our own ability and are confident of going about our business quietly and steadily pushing up the table.

“Quite a few of our players have played in the Championship before and know what this level is all about.

“For some, it has worked out in the past, for others it hasn’t.

“So we have plenty to prove and are looking forward to the next few months.

“Last season we won a lot of games which gave us confidence and now we have this challenge of stepping up a level and trying to win as many games as possible.

“We started well against Boro who were unfortunate not to get promoted last season and are one of the favourites to go up this time.

“On the day we played well, we had a game plan which we carried out.

“We had our chances, they had theirs, so maybe a draw was a fair result.

“In midweek we followed that up with the win at Crewe.”

Garner had most of the night off against Crewe, coming on as an 81st minute substitute for Jordan Hugill.

He still got enough time on the pitch to play a small part in Josh Brownhill’s late goal which secured the 3-1 victory.

The 27-year-old will be back in the thick of the action against MK Dons.

“It should be a good game down there,” said Garner.

“We know how they play and I’m sure MK Dons know plenty about us.

“Last season we won there 2-0 after putting in a really good performance.

“Although they finished above us to get automatic promotion, I don’t think this game is about getting one over on them – we just want to try and get three points.

“You would say the MK Dons deserved to go up because they had more points than us and won a lot of games towards the end of the season.

“We all know what happened, that we had to win at Colchester and didn’t, but I wouldn’t change that for the world now having experienced the play-off final at Wembley and winning the way we did.

“Both MK Dons and ourselves got up in the end.

“I think the three teams who came up will all be strong in this division and hopefully we can push on.”