Huntington has no fears for PNE

Paul Huntington in pre-season training at Springfields
Paul Huntington in pre-season training at Springfields
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Paul Huntington believes Preston North End will have nothing to be afraid of when the new Championship season begins next month.

The Lilywhites start their campaign with a televised Deepdale clash against Middlesbrough on Sunday, August 9.

It will be the club’s first game in the second tier of English football for four years after winning promotion from League One via the play-offs.

A quick glance at the fixture list and the number of big clubs illustrates just how difficult next season is going to be.

But centre-half Huntington believes he and his team-mates will not be daunted as they aim to re-establish the club at this level once again.

“We haven’t set any targets for next season,” Huntington told the Evening Post.

“We’ve had a meeting as a squad and we’ve just said that we’ll try to go as far as we can.

“We won’t be thinking about the end of the season and where we might be.

“I am sure we will be a confident group and looking to carry on the winning habit from last season.

“We have got a nucleus in terms of the spine of the team.

“We’ve managed to keep those players together and hopefully with a couple of new additions to add to what we have got, we will go into the league with a lot of confidence.

“And I think we will enjoy being up against a number of big clubs, but not forgetting that we are a big club as well.

“I am sure when next season comes, we will go and show what we are all about.”

A former Premier League player with Newcastle, Huntington has never played in the Championship, but it’s a division he has always taken a great interest in.

“From the outside looking in over the past few years, it seems to be a bit of an inconsistent division,” he said.

“You’ve got only the top six who seem to be consistent and the rest seem to be able to beat each other on any given day.

“We will just be looking for that consistency and taking it from there.

“We want to achieve more. We have had a taste of success now and we want to taste it again.

“But we are not going to be looking too far ahead

“The focus will be on the first few games and getting a good start.

“What with the cup games as well, the games will be coming thick and fast but I am sure we will be ready.”