Duane Holmes makes Preston North End vow after Huddersfield Town frustration
Preston North End midfielder Duane Holmes is enjoying life as a Lilywhite but believes there is another level for him to go to yet.
The summer arrival - who signed a two-year contract at Deepdale after leaving Huddersfield Town - has provided a spark in Ryan Lowe’s team. He has three goals and three assists to his name, with Championship strikes coming against Plymouth Argyle and Swansea City while he also netted in the Carabao Cup defeat to Salford.
In recent weeks, Holmes has got the nod over fellow summer recruit Mads Frokjaer. In last month’s win at Stoke City, Holmes replaced Frokjaer off the bench at half time and had a hand in both of Will Keane’s goals on the day. Since then, it has been Holmes’ spot to lose and the 28-year-old has enjoyed featuring week-in-week-out for his new club.
"Yeah, I remember speaking at the start of the season and saying I just want to get back fit and playing with a smile on my face,” he said. “I have not been able to do that for the last two years and I am finally feeling fit. I know there is more to come from me. I don’t think I am fully at my best yet, but I’m enjoying it - the lads are great, the manager is great and I’m really having fun.”
Holmes faced the media after Preston’s 4-2 defeat at Ipswich last weekend. North End had a tough eight days, with three consecutive losses suffered in the league after an eight-game unbeaten start to the campaign. The American, who has play-off experience under his belt at the level, now recognises the importance of the upcoming break and improved performances later this month.
“Yeah, players in our dressing room have been in this league for a long time and we know it’s tough,” said Holmes. “But, it is a long, long season and - taking these last three games away - you’d have taken it at the start of the season. It is the disappointing, the manner in which we’ve lost. We weren’t at our level against West Brom. I thought we nullified a very, very good Leicester side until 60 minutes and then it was tough to get back into the game once their goal went in. And Ipswich, it is errors for goals we don’t normally concede. It’s not ideal, but we’ve still had a good start all in all.
Holmes added: “We took great pride in how hard we were to play against at the start and obviously we’ve had an off week. It happens, but thankfully we’ve now got time to rest up, watch everything back and get back to what we do best. It’s good for the body and mind to destress a little bit and we know, when we get back, we’ve got a lot of work to do to stay where we want to be. We’ve not been ourselves but we can work hard and put it right. Barring this week, the lads have been brilliant.”