Scott to focus on positives for PNE

Scott Wiseman wants a return to winning ways at Swindon tonight
Scott Wiseman wants a return to winning ways at Swindon tonight
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Scott Wiseman will not be dwelling too much on Preston North End’s second league defeat of the season.

PNE’s fantastic eight-match winning run came to an abrupt end on Saturday as they were convincingly beaten 3-0 at Rochdale.

Although ex-Dale star Wiseman has spent the past few days reflecting on the events which unfolded at Spotland, he is keen not to think too much about the defeat.

And he is eager to help his side get back on the winning trail tonight when North End travel to face Swindon Town at the County Ground.

“We did not see the loss on Saturday coming with the way we have been playing and the way we have been performing recently,” said Wiseman.

“It was a big shock to us all to lose 3-0, especially for me going back to an old club of mine – it was hard to take.

“We have set our standards so high that to do what we did on Saturday was difficult for us.

“I think you just have to look at it as one of those days – you are going to have setbacks during the season.

“We looked at the goals we conceded yesterday in training and to be honest, I personally had already looked at the goals over the weekend – I’m sure the rest of the lads did so as well.

“We have seen where we have gone wrong but we won’t be dwelling on it. We won’t be panicking.

“We have got a big game at Swindon coming up tonight and we will be thinking about how well we have been doing over the last few weeks, rather than dwelling on the Rochdale result.”

Like Rochdale, Swindon are one of the teams in the play-off pack chasing Preston, who occupy the second automatic promotion spot.

Despite losing 2-1 at MK Dons at the weekend, the Robins know they can move to within two points of second spot with a win tonight.

On the other hand, Simon Grayson’s men know that three points will see them breathing down leaders Bristol City’s necks.

“From our point of view, the league table does look fantastic at the minute even though we lost on Saturday,” Wiseman said

“I think if somebody had said that at this stage of the season, we would be second in the table, five points off the top with a game in hand, we would have taken that.

“I don’t think you could have asked any more of the lads so far and it’s great to see where we are in the table.

“But it is tight at the minute. There are a few teams who are in good form and we all seem to be playing each other.

“But that’s good. That’s why we all enjoy playing and why we want to be at the top of the division.

“We are one of the favourites for promotion and other teams will be wanting to play us to prove that they are capable of turning us over.

“It’s all part of the game and as players we enjoy these challenges.

“Swindon are a very good team – I remember playing them towards the back end of last season when they had picked up form.

“They are a young side, who like to play football but they can also be direct when going forward. So it’s going to be a tough game and we will have to be at our best to get anything out of it.”

Tonight will be the third successive Tuesday that North End have been faced with a long trip south.

Two weeks ago, they emerged from their visit to the Priestfield Stadium to play Gillingham with a 1-0 victory, while last week they enjoyed a 2-0 win at Leyton Orient.

After tonight’s trip to Swindon, North End will nearly a week off before their next game at Havant and Waterlooville in the FA Cup first round on Monday night.

Wiseman admits it has been a tough schedule for the players but one they have relished.

“The last few weeks have been very demanding. We have been up and down the country – sometimes you don’t know where you are because of the all the travelling.

“It’s part of football and we will be totally focused on making the trip to Swindon and, hopefully, coming back with the three points.

“After the game, we obviously have a bit of a break before outr next game, which will be nice.

“I am sure we won’t be getting any time off but it will be nice to know that we don’t have to refocus within two days for another game.

“We will probably have a few days in training where we will be able to relax a little bit and have a couple of days when things won’t be quite as intense.

“It will be good to have that but for now we have a massive game to look forward to tonight.”

Wiseman has had to be patient this term. He began the season out of the team as Grayson preferred Calum Woods at right full-back.

“The squad is that strong that there is somebody behind you in every position, gunning for your place,” Wiseman said.

“When I was out of the team earlier in the season, I was doing my utmost to get in the team.

“I think that brings out the best in everyone when you have competition for places.”