'Absolutely rocking' - Preston North End defender Greg Cunningham loved the Deepdale atmosphere against Blackpool

What a great night it was on Tuesday as we beat our local rivals Blackpool at Deepdale.

By Dave Seddon
Thursday, 7th April 2022, 4:45 pm

We owed them one after our defeat earlier in the season - we know how much it meant to the Preston North End fans and how the bragging rights from the games are massive.

The job was to win and make sure the fans went home happy, we did that.

What was great was how Deepdale was absolutely rocking, the atmosphere was fantastic.

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Greg Cunningham congratulates Cameron Archer after he scored Preston North End's winner against Blackpool

Everything was right with our build-up too, you could feel in the warm-up that everyone was on it and pulling in the right direction.

In the dressing room the music was turned up that bit more, everything felt like it was bouncing and we were ready for it.

It was about winning the game at all costs and we got the job done.

I love night games at Deepdale, especially with the amount of people who showed up on Tuesday night.

Preston North End wing-back Greg Cunningham challenges Blackpool's Callum Connolly

It wasn’t the nicest of days weather-wise, so it meant a lot to the boys to come out on the tunnel to the amount of fans there were on Tuesday night.

The support has always great but for those sort of games it is extra special. We needed to make sure we put on a bit of a show, demonstrate how much it meant to us – I think every man to themselves did exceptionally well.

It could have more than just the one goal but at the end of the day we got the win and clean sheet.

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In terms of atmosphere, it was the loudest I’d experienced at Preston in my two spells.

There was the Arsenal FA Cup game a few years ago which stands out too. That was a late kick-off in January so again the floodlights were on and the place bouncing.

It occasions that like cup game, like the Blackpool game, that makes you really appreciate being a professional footballer, it takes you back to when you were younger and why you wanted to go down that road to be a professional.

You want to play in front of those big crowds.

Against Blackpool just before kick-off, our fans either side of the away supporters were bouncing up and down, that was some sight.

It was my first game back in the side after a few weeks out and not a bad one to come back in.

I had spoken with the gaffer in the days before, went through a few bits, but it was a game I didn’t want to be missing. I don’t like missing games, especially one like that.

I needed to make sure I was in as good a nick as possible for it and I felt good out there.

The gaffer had illustrated before that you needed fire in the belly but ice in the head because you can get caught up in the occasion if you’re not careful.

I hope I brought that level head needed for certain parts of the game. I was delighted to play my part.

We knew Blackpool had threats because they have done reasonably well but we snuffed out a lot of their threat, that is credit to the boys and credit to the staff for getting that game plan in place.