Patrick Bauer says Preston North End still on track for play-offs despite recent setbacks against Fulham and WBA

Patrick Bauer says Preston’s confidence has not been dented by the back-to-back defeats to West Bromwich Albion and Fulham.
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The Lilywhites stayed in sixth place despite the results and now have their focus on Saturday’s home game with Queens Park Rangers.

Central defender Bauer said: “It’s disappointing to have lost two games.

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“I thought we put in a good performance at Fulham but that didn’t get us what we wanted and now we have to move on.

Preston centre-half Patrick BauerPreston centre-half Patrick Bauer
Preston centre-half Patrick Bauer

“As a group of players we are confident and that hasn’t changed because of the last two results.

“We have got 10 games left now and it’s all about winning as many of those as we can.

“In the last few weeks we have had some good results and we need some more. We played two good teams in the past two games.

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“In the two games this season against Fulham we competed well, winning one and losing one.

“If we were to get into the play-offs and play Fulham, we would be prepared for that.”

The end of February was always going to be a tough one for North End, with the away games against two sides in the Championship’s top three.

Three of the next four games are at Deepdale, with QPR, Cardiff and Derby due to pay a visit.

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The one away game in that run comes against Luton Town a week on Saturday.

What was frustrating for Bauer and his team-mates at Fulham was the fact they kept dangerman Aleksandar Mitrovic quiet but then gave away two cheap goals.

David Nugent headed into his own net, with a breakaway in stoppage time from a PNE corner seeing Fulham score the second goal.

Bauer was instrumental in limiting Mitrovic to very little, the Serbia striker having scored seven goals previously against PNE.

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“You face different kinds of strikers in this league and this was another challenge,” said Bauer.

“Mitrovic is not a striker who runs behind – he wants the ball to feet or up to him.

“I thought we did very well against him, he has a lot of quality.

“When you look at the game, Fulham didn’t have many chances.

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“They scored with the own goal from the corner and then got the second on the break after our corner.

“We are still in sixth spot and we want to get into the play-offs.”

Bauer is likely to come up against former North End striker Jordan Hugill when QPR visit.

Hugill is on loan with 
the West London side from West Ham – PNE sold him to the Hammers in January 2018 for £9.5m.