Consistency the target for Preston North End captain heading into the derby clash with Blackburn Rovers

Alan Browne says Preston North End’s target in the games ahead has to be an element of consistency in order to climb the table.

By Dave Seddon
Thursday, 2nd December 2021, 2:13 pm
Updated Thursday, 2nd December 2021, 2:14 pm

The Lilywhites’ results have been up and down this season, the only time they’ve settled being the run of five draws during the autumn.

Twice they have strung back-to-back wins together, with their poorest run being the three defeats at the start of the season.

On Saturday, they make the short trip along the M65 to Blackburn on the back of a win and a draw.

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Preston North End skipper Alan Browne

Bringing something back from Ewood Park would be another step in the right direction but more is needed in Browne’s opinion.

North End skipper Browne said: “We have just had two decent results but before that we’ve been up and down this season.

“If we go and get a win at Blackburn it would be a sign we are going in the right direction.

“But if we get a poor results it is going to be the same old story.

Alan Browne gets a hug from Frankie McAvoy after PNE's win at Middlesbrough

“Two god results aren’t enough to say we are looking up.

“To move right up that table we probably need some good form over five or six games I would say.

“We just need to stop the pattern of being up and down from one week to the next.

“It doesn’t help when your confidence is shot at one week and then you’re on a high the next.

“The challenge for us is about finding a good level of performance and putting results together.

“It’s been a tough season so far but I don’t think we are a million miles away either – we are not that far off where I think we should be.

“If we had another two or three wins, we would be right up the table. I know that is easier said than done – would have, could have, should have.

“If we can build on the last two results and keep up some form, we can start looking up.”

Browne says there has been a bit of a shift in focus in North End’s approach to games of late.

The emphasis has been on their approach rather than leaning too far the other way and making it more about what the opposition are going to do.

“On Saturday we know that it will be tough, Blackburn have certainly got goals in their locker,” said Browne.

“We have to focus on ourselves, I know that is a bit of a cliché but over the last few weeks we have started to do that more.

“The focus is on us rather than the other team.

“We have to be aware where the opposition are going to be dangerous but more emphasis is on what we are going to do.

“It’s up to use how we use the ball, whether we play out from the back or go a bit longer.

“Results have started to come along doing that and we have to build on that.”

Browne’s form has been decent in recent weeks, with the Irishman settling into an engine room trio with Ali McCann and Ben Whiteman.

He got plenty of plaudits for what he did in last week’s 1-1 draw with league leaders Fulham, even earning the starman rating from the respected statistics-based website Whoscored.com.

However, Browne is his own biggest critic and didn’t necessarily agree.

Said Browne: “I felt I did okay against Fulham but I wouldn’t say it was my best game all year.

“In the first half I was alright but I thought I faded out of the game a bit in the second half – there was more I could have done.

“Sometimes people will look at a result and think because we did well, I must have played well.

“There have been games when we’ve not got the result we wanted but I’ve come off the pitch thinking my performance was quite good.

“At the moment, it’s myself, Ben and Ali in midfield – Ben has been fantastic, so had Ali.

“No matter who plays in midfield, I think we will have a strong midfield.

“We are all slightly different and we might not be suited to very game.

“It’s up the manager to make the decision of who suits a game the best.”

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