Exclusive Paul Huntington PNE column

In black boots against Nottingham Forest last week
In black boots against Nottingham Forest last week
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As a defender, the clean sheet we kept when putting five past Bristol City was really pleasing.

It was a good team display all over the pitch and the win kept us in the play-off hunt.

I thought that in the first half Bristol City showed they aren’t a bad team but are just struggling for results.

We got into the lead and when that happens at home, the game tends to open up and that suits our attacking players who come into their own.

The other side of the game we did well, our defending was good – not just as a back four but the whole team.

Clean sheets are a big part of what we are about and you have to work very hard to keep one.

There were times when I wasn’t quite there in terms of dealing with something, Greg Cunningham helped me out.

On the other side, if Alex Baptiste wasn’t there, Tom Clarke was covering.

You want that spirit and togetherness, it is what helps you through games.

It was a bit strange seeing Bailey Wright in the Bristol City team after him being a team-mate here at Preston for so long.

Bailey popped into the dressing room afterwards to speak to us – he’s a good lad.

Preston was all that he knew since coming here as a young lad so going to Bristol City has been a big challenge for him.

He was telling us that they have some big games coming up in terms of trying to get away from the relegation zone, they are at Blackburn soon which will obviously be a key battle.

A lot of teams still have something to play for, either at the top end or bottom of the table.

Our focus is on trying to get as many points to stay 
in contention for the 
play-offs.

It is a great challenge to be part of and we will work hard to put together a run of good results.

We’ve got a big game now at Leeds, that will be a tough one because they are a very good side.

Leeds are one of my former clubs – it is a few years now since I played for them.

We are going to have to be at the top of our game and the build-up for that started on Wednesday morning after the Bristol City game when we came in for a recovery session.

Talking of Bristol City, it was down at their place in December that my run in the side started.

I have played every game since and hopefully that run has continue.

I started the season in the team and then played in all the cup games, coming back into the team for the 2-2 draw at Brighton in October.

Then I had a spell out of the team again before getting a recall in December.

It’s happened before in my time here, there have been spells when I haven’t been involved.

When out of the team, I kept myself fit and put in the extra work because you know with the gaffer that your chance will always come again.

There is no point moping about and feeling sorry for yourself, that won’t get you anywhere.

Various players have been in that position.

I think I have mentioned before how Ben Pearson 
and myself were sat in the stand watching our 5-0 defeat at Brentford in September.

At the time we were out of the picture but look at Ben now – he’s played almost every game since.

We both played in the next game at Bournemouth in the League Cup and after coming on as a sub in the next league game, Ben has been a regular starter.

We were talking about the player of the year this week and I would put Ben right up there with Aiden McGeady and Tom Clarke.

Finally, a quick word about my footwear in games, in that I choose to wear black boots, which is different to what most players do these days.

I’ve always worn black boots, ever since I was a young lad.

In the last four years here at Preston, I’ve tried to wear totally black boots but it can be difficult finding them.

At the moment, every colour under the sun seems to be in fashion.

I’ve no problem with what the boots other lads wear – as long as they are not orange.

If I see someone get a pair of orange boots, I’ll say, ‘Get them off’!

I’m told I get a few nice comments about me sticking with tradition, so that is good to hear.

Black boots are what I am about – you couldn’t really see me wearing red ones could you?

I’ll leave the colours to the other lads.