Cunningham relishing PNE's great expectations

Greg Cunningham believes Preston North End's players are relishing the increasing expectations at Deepdale.

Tuesday, 22nd November 2016, 3:00 pm
Updated Wednesday, 23rd November 2016, 1:59 pm
Greg Cunningham says confidence is high at Deepdale

North End have been on the rise in the Championship in recent weeks with the 0-0 draw against Wolves on Saturday leaving them 11th in the table just three points shy of the play-off places.

Burton Albion are the next test for the Lilywhites this weekend with Cunningham insisting confidence has never been higher.

“Everyone at the club knows what we’re capable of doing,” said the left back.

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“Fans came out in their numbers on Saturday and it was a horrible day.

“They were very vocal and that’s why we love playing at home.

“The expectation is there but it’s no undue. We want to try and push for that play-off spot.

“It’s our second season in the Championship after a few years away so we don’t want to get carried away.

“We’re going into every game with confidence knowing that we’re set up right and that we have the personnel to win games and the personnel to have clean sheets and good performances defensively.

“Everyone’s pulling their weight at the club and it’s great.”

Preston’s rise up the table after five defeats in their first six league games has surprised many outside of Deepdale.

Cunningham insists however those involved always knew things were going to turn.

“We did have a slow start but like I’ve said before the performances were there but we just lacked that cutting edge or lost games where we shouldn’t have,” said the Irishman.

“But the last couple of months we’ve shown what we’re capable of and got the results we deserve.

“We deserve to be where we are. If we’d have won on Saturday we’re looking a point outside the pl=ay-offs and up to seventh.

“We know what we’re doing in the dressing room. We’re trying to keep being hard to beat and hard to break down to pick up the results we deserve.”

One factor in PNE’s good run has been the emergence of Chris Maxwell between the sticks, something which has been a big help to the North End backline.

“It’s nice to have,” said Cunningham.

“We know we can keep our line a bit higher knowing he’s there sweeping.

“It gives us a lot of confidence.

“Since he’s come into the team he’s been sweeping behind us and claiming everything.

“We’re really happy with him. He’s done very well.”

PNE have a clear week in which to get ready to face Nigel Clough’s outsiders for the first time ever.

Currently 20th in the table, the Brewers have impressed many in their history-making debut season in English football’s second tier.

“Bar international breaks it’s been very hectic Saturday-Tuesday,” Cunningham said.

“The boys were saying it’s a bit strange, we enjoy the games coming thick and fast.

“But in saying that we’ve got a chance now to recover and a chance to work on the training field looking towards Burton.

“We can make sure we’re fully refreshed.”