Callum had no doubt PNE would get back in the hunt

Callum Robinson has returned to form in style, starting the last four games for Preston
Callum Robinson has returned to form in style, starting the last four games for Preston

Callum Robinson insists Preston North End were always confident they would be back competing at the sharp end of the Championship.

With eight defenders out at one point, Alex Neil’s side lost four games on the spin and slipped down the table after a positive start.

But Saturday’s 1-0 win over Sheffield United was a third straight victory and a sixth game unbeaten in the second tier.

Ahead of this weekend’s Deepdale date with Nottingham Forest, the first of four matches in nine days over the Christmas and New Year period, the Lilywhites are just two points shy of the play-off places.

“We always had the belief we would be up there,” said Robinson.

“Especially after the first five or six games.

“We know what we’ve got in the changing room and there are still players out who can come back in.

“We knew we had to get through that stage where we didn’t have a lot of players, there were eight defenders or something out.

“We’ve come through it, have lads coming back and there’s competition so everyone knows they have to be performing and I think that’s getting the best out of everyone. We’re flying at the moment.”

PNE’s upturn in form has coincided with Robinson nailing down a starting spot in recent weeks.

Neil admitted earlier in the season that the 22-year-old had taken time to adapt to his methods but after coming on and scoring in the 2-1 win at Bristol City, Robinson has started the last four games.

“When you’re on the bench it’s not nice, you just have to wait for your chance,” he said.

“The main thing for me is being consistent.

“I have to make sure that I’m playing well in every game and I think recently I’ve been doing that and hopefully I can just keep that up.

“If you get in the team and you start losing then you might be the easy one to drop out.

“The lads have been doing great though, as well as myself, and we’ve just got to make sure we keep this run going.

“It’s good to get momentum now.

“There are a lot of games coming up and we’ve just got to keep resting right and training right to get the results.”

The versatile forward capped another fine display against the Blades by laying on the winner for Jordan Hugill, the nine-goal striker already being linked with a January move away from Deepdale.

“Jordan’s very effective in different kinds of ways,” Robinson said.

“He helps others to get on the ball but he does get his goals as well.

“He is a very good player for us.”