Greg: Let’s be quick out of blocks

Greg Cunningham says PNE cannot afford to be slow starters
Greg Cunningham says PNE cannot afford to be slow starters
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Defender Greg Cunningham says Preston cannot afford a repeat of their performance at Cardiff when they head to Barnsley on Saturday.

Awaiting the Lilywhites at Oakwell are a Tykes side who are just outside the play-offs in eighth place – two positions and three points ahead of PNE.

Barnsley were themselves beaten on Tuesday night, 3-1 at home by Wolves, hence there being a determination from both sides to bounce back.

Left-back Cunningham told the Post: “We need to start really brightly to put Barnsley on the back foot.

“Credit to Barnsley and Paul Heckingbottom, they have done well this season.

“In the window they let a few of their top players go but others have come in and they will be looking to stay up there.

“I know Barnsley lost the other night but they have been on a good run and have been the surprise package of the league this season.

“We know what they are all about and we have to make sure we are better than them on the day.

“You could say we owe them one after they beat us at our place earlier in the season.

“As a team, we want to get a winning mentality back, we were all unhappy after the Cardiff defeat.

“It is 90 minutes again on Saturday and we have to make sure we are up for it.

“Credit to the fans who went down to Cardiff – it was a long journey at night and we were disappointed we didn’t get a result for them.

“I’m sure they will go in their numbers again over the road at Barnsley.”

As in their previous two matches, Preston had to chase the game in South Wales.

Cardiff were 2-0 up inside the first half-hour and this time there was no way back.

Said Cunningham: “The first half was frustrating.

“They were two sloppy goals to give away and we were on the back foot again.

“We had done well in the last two games at Villa and against Ipswich to battle back and get points but we couldn’t do that this time.

“For the second half we came out of the blocks and had some half-chances.

“On another night those would have gone in and it could have been a different story.

“If we had scored to make it 2-1, Cardiff would have got edgy, their fans would and we would have made it hard for them.

“But it was a very below-par performance collectively.

“We have shown that when we get off to a flier in games, we are very hard to peg back and have got the results we wanted.

“In the last three games we have been slow out of the box for whatever reason.

“That is something we have to put right at Barnsley to get going again.”