Keeper Declan Rudd knows what is needed to get Preston North End firing

Declan Rudd says Preston North End must quickly come to terms with adding more intensity to their game if they are to rescue their chances of making the play-offs.
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The Lilywhites are back in action at Huddersfield today (3pm) and head to Yorkshire on the back of a six-game run without a win.

In the space of a few days earlier in the week they dropped from sixth to ninth place.

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To climb back into the top six they would need to hit a purple patch of form and hope results elsewhere to go in their favour.

North End goalkeeper Declan RuddNorth End goalkeeper Declan Rudd
North End goalkeeper Declan Rudd

North End goalkeeper Rudd said: “At the minute we just seem to be a few per cent off the level we need to be hitting.

“The endeavour and effort is there from everyone in the squad. If anyone wants to question that, I couldn’t see where they were coming from at all.

“Things have not quite clicked for us at the right time, I accept that.

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“We are the type of team who thrive on intensity, that is what we use to get one over on the opposition.

“If there is a low moment in a game, usually we have the crowd there to get us back on the track.

“At the moment it is up to us to find the intensity from within and that has proved difficult.

“I’ve been playing professional football for 12 years in front of crowds.

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“So to then go to playing behind closed doors is hard, I’ll admit that – it takes some getting used to.

“But we haven’t got the time to get used to it, we have to turn this around now.

“We don’t want our hard work to go to waste.

“Playing behind closed doors is strange in that you can hear everything which is going on in the ground.

“You an even hear the TV commentators. It is the same for every player at every club who are playing.

“The sooner we get back on track the better.”

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Rudd was not too far away from making the headlines against Derby when he went up for a stoppage-time corner and put a header over the bar.

The fact it was the closest PNE went to scoring said plenty about where they were lacking on Wednesday.

Said Rudd: “The corner was never meant to come to me – I went up there to cause a distraction.

“I think I’ll stick to playing in goal rather than scoring them!

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“Towards the end against Derby we had everyone pushed up, I was taking free-kicks from the halfway line and I’d be the last man.

“Afterwards in the dressing room we were physically and emotionally drained, we were so frustrated.”