First trip to Blackburn Rovers excites Ben Davies with Preston North End set to be backed by more than 7,000 fans

Ben Davies is looking forward to his first trip to Ewood Park as Preston North End look to continue their fine Championship run at Blackburn Rovers on Saturday.

The in-form defender has never played at the home of the Lilywhites’ Lancashire rivals having been out on loan during previous visits.

Ben Davies has become a key figure for Preston North End under Alex Neil

Ben Davies has become a key figure for Preston North End under Alex Neil

This weekend though he will a key man at the heart of the backline as Alex Neil’s side look to make it 10 games unbeaten in front of approaching 7,500 travelling fans.

“I’ve never played there before and you can just see the ticket sales going up and up, which is really pleasing,” said Davies.

“We just want them all to go and enjoy it, have a good day and hopefully we can put on a performance that will help them do that.

“Having a big backing helps, especially in these derby matches.

Davies congratulates Louis Moult on his goal against Blackburn earlier in the season

Davies congratulates Louis Moult on his goal against Blackburn earlier in the season

“Fans definitely help at moments in the game and hopefully we can see that on Saturday.”

Davies is originally from Cumbria but having come through the Lilywhites’ academy he is well aware of what is at stake in games like the one this Saturday.

He is keen not only for three key points in the Championship play-off race, but also to help PNE fans have an easy ride at work on Monday morning.

“You hear all about it from fans in and around Preston,” said Davies.

Davies celebrates the derby win at Bolton

Davies celebrates the derby win at Bolton

“Quite a lot of them work with people from Blackburn and I didn’t quite realise until this year how many links there are.

“I saw that before the game earlier on in the season and even more so now.

“It’s a local game so you are in and around it a bit more but the build-up will be similar to a usual game for us.

“When we go out on the pitch and fully realise we’ve got a full away end all desperate to win then I think that will spur us on. We need to go and do our best.”

PNE’s derby record under Neil is very good and they head to East Lancashire to face a Rovers side who have lost five of their last six league games.

Davies though knows all that can go out of the window on the day though.

“It’s a derby so it can be like a one-off game in a way,” he said.

“We know they are a good side and they’ve got some good players so we’ll have to be on top of our game.

“We didn’t win our last game and we’ll want to get back to winning ways and what better way to do it than in a local derby.

“No matter where we were in the league we’d want to win a game like this.

“Obviously we’ve got ourselves in a better position recently as well.

“We want to keep looking up and the only way we can do that is by winning games.

“Blackburn are up next and we need to take care of them if we can.”