Top six is still a target says Tom

Clarke is still eyeing a play-off place
Clarke is still eyeing a play-off place
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Preston skipper Tom Clarke insists the play-offs are still a target despite the gap which exists between them and the top six.

The centre-back admits it will be a tough ask but says the squad’s focus is on pushing upwards.

Leeds in fifth and sixth-place Sheffield Wednesday both have a nine-point lead over North End.

The Owls missed a chance to pull further ahead when they were beaten 2-1 at home by Brentford on Tuesday, that their game in hand.

Norwich, Fulham and Barnsley sit between Preston and the top six, the latter two on the same number of points as Simon Grayson’s men.

Asked if the play-offs were on the radar, Clarke told the Post: “Definitely, I don’t see why not.

“We’ve got two good wins and a point away from home recently and we’ll keep 
striving to get there and hopefully we can do it.

“We know it’s going to be tough but there are 13 games where we’ve got to keep working hard for each other.

“There are some big teams in and around us and just to be talking about it is brilliant anyway.

“We’ve done magnificently as a team and staff, we need to keep that going and keep putting pressure on ourselves to keep standards high.”

North End return to action against Queens Park Rangers at Deepdale on Saturday.

QPR are a team in form, beating Birmingham 4-1 last Saturday and following that up with a 2-1 home victory over Wigan on Tuesday night.

Clarke said: “This week has been the opportunity to get on the training field and work ahead of the QPR game.

“It’s going to be another tough one and the games are coming around quickly now.

“We are coming towards the business end of the season where results matter and we want to keep pushing and keep striving for a decent position in the league.”

North End will be looking for their first league double of the season on Saturday.

They won 2-0 against QPR at Loftus Road in August, 
their first league victory of the season.

Jermaine Beckford and a Nedum Onuoha own goal gave PNE the three points.

The London outfit have changed managers since then, Ian Holloway replacing Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink.