Greg Cunningham looks ahead to Preston North End's game against Huddersfield Town and discusses what Christmas is like as a footballer

Greg Cunningham says Preston North End need to be ready both physically and mentally for the Christmas schedule.
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Ryan Lowe’s side welcome Huddersfield Town to Deepdale on Boxing Day.

Cunningham states he is not concerned about giving up a traditional Christmas in order to be ready for the upcoming matches.

“It’s part of being a footballer,” he said.

Greg Cunningham (Credit: Dave Howarth/CameraSport)Greg Cunningham (Credit: Dave Howarth/CameraSport)
Greg Cunningham (Credit: Dave Howarth/CameraSport)

“I love playing over this period.

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“Boxing Day is the first fixture I look for at the beginning of the season, mostly because you want to know if you have to travel far on Christmas Day or not.

“It’s certainly a big one, where the stadiums are packed out and the fans come in their numbers.

“It’s important that we make it worth their while. We just need to make sure we are ready physically and mentally.

“When the time comes, in many years time, when I retire and go back home, I can enjoy Christmas then and watch football from the comfort of my couch.

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“You do miss the side of things where all of the family is together and you’re away from home, but I’ve got my wife and my baby over here so we will be setting our own traditions.

“Everyone’s Christmas dinner will vary, it’s each to their own really.

“My portion size will probably be small because you’ve got to be cautious about the next day, but I’m a plain eater anyway.

“While you’re at home with your families, your mind is still on matchday minus one.”

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Cunningham says Preston are not taking bottom-place Huddersfield lightly.

“Where we want to be, there’s an expectation to win every game, and that’s the mindset we need to have,” he added.

“Form in this league at this stage is void. Yes, they’re bottom of the league, but they are a very good side.

“If they go on a run over Christmas, they will find themselves out of the bottom three.

“We put pressure on ourselves to win that game internally.

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“They’re a tough side and we know what they are capable of doing, so we need to be on our A game to get what we want.

“They’ve been playing some good football and probably think they’ve not got the results they deserve.

“It’s not a game we’re taking lightly in any respect.”