Darnell Fisher confident Preston have ridden the storm ahead of Norwich trip

Darnell Fisher in action on his return to the Preston side at Bristol City.
Darnell Fisher in action on his return to the Preston side at Bristol City.

There was never any panic in the Preston camp during their losing run according to Darnell Fisher.

The right back returned from his groin injury in North End’s 2-1 victory at Bristol City on Tuesday night, their first win in eight Championship games.

ALSO READ: Alex Neil hails returning players in Bristol City win

That run had included four straight defeats as a defensive injury crisis hit hard.

Fisher insists that the dressing always kept the faith however, confident things would soon be on the up again.

A corner looks to have been turned since the international break with PNE looking to kick on again when they travel to Norwich on Saturday.

Darnell Fisher has shone for Preston North End since his summer move from Rotherham.

Darnell Fisher has shone for Preston North End since his summer move from Rotherham.

“Even though we got beaten in a few games and didn’t pick up as many points for a while we were still confident in ourselves,” said the 23-year-old.

“We know what we’ve got in the dressing room.

“Everyone was talking outside like it was a bit of a crisis.

“It wasn’t. We just got beaten in a few games.

Darnell Fisher is helped from the field by physio Matt Jackson after picking up his groin injury at Ipswich.

Darnell Fisher is helped from the field by physio Matt Jackson after picking up his groin injury at Ipswich.

“That happens in this league.

“The injuries that we had, the defenders we had out and how they got injured, there was even two in one game, made it tough.

“It happens in football. Not often, but it happens.

“We needed to just stick together and now we’ve got through the little patch that we had.

“We got the result that we needed and now we’ll look forward to Saturday and the rest of the season.”

Having slipped down the Championship standings during a lean couple of months, victory at Ashton Gate in midweek saw the Lilywhites back up to 12th.

They are just four points shy of the play-offs ahead of the second long trip of the week down to Carrow Road.

“All you need to do it pick up a few points back-to-back and you’ll jump right up the table,” said Fisher.

“That’s what happened to us.

“We got beaten in a few games and we went back down the table a bit.

“That’s what happens in this league.

“It’s tight but you need to stay with the pack and keep grinding away.

“We’re still in there, it’s a long season and there’s no break now until the next internationals in March.

“There’s a lot of games in there and we can pick up points.”

The Robins win saw Fisher, who limped off in the defeat at Ipswich at the start of the month, come straight back into a side that had kept a clean sheet against Bolton last Friday night.

He has been something of a revelation since his summer move to Deepdale, the former Rotherham man having been deemed surplus to requirements at the New York Stadium after their relegation from the Championship.

“You see everyone going down injured and obviously it’s tough,” Fisher said.

“And then your own body lets you down.

“But we rallied round and we’re starting to get people back now.

“When the manager has faith in you it really helps as a player.

“Being out a few weeks and then getting a clean sheet on Friday, it was nice to be straight back in.

“It’s always good to be back out with the lads, fighting for each other.

“It’s good, especially when you get the three points.

“It would have been nice to keep a clean sheet as well but we got the win.”

He returned to a more familiar looking back four with Ben Davies partnering Paul Huntington in the centre of defence and Calum Woods shifting over to left back.

After two solid displays in a week, the former Celtic youngster is hoping to see a return to the early season form that saw PNE concede just one goal in their opening five league games.

“We had a lot of clean sheets at the start of the season,” said Fisher.

“Hunts, Davo and myself played in a lot of those games.

“Woodsy has come in as well and we know what each other can do.

“We’re confident in each other’s ability.

“We had settled selection at the start of the season but it can be upset in this league.

“It’s so rigorous, there’s a lot of games, people get injured and you have to rally round.

“That’s when you need the whole squad.”

Further forward Tuesday night’s win also saw Alex Neil’s men switch to 4-4-2 with Jordan Hugill and Stephy Mavididi leading the line and Tom Barkhuizen and Paul Gallagher out wide.

“We’re very flexible,” said Fisher.

“We can play three at the back, four at the back.

“We can change it around in midfield or play two up front.

“We are flexible in a lot of ways and on Tuesday night we saw that.”

Many in the West Country weren’t happy with how PNE slowed the game down as they got back to winning ways.

Fisher however says that is in essential part of any away performance.

“Tuesday night we took a bit of time with our throw-ins and walked to free-kicks,” he said.

“You do the little subtle things and then the crowd get on you, and then they get on their team.

“That does help but it’s the same for any away game.

“Game management is key away from home.

“It was a long journey and it would have been even longer without the three points.

“That made it all the sweeter.”

Next up is a trip to Neil’s former club Norwich.

It will be the Preston manager’s first game back at Carrow Road but Fisher knows all that will soon be forgotten when the action is focused on the field.

Now overseen by former Borussia Dortmund II coach Daniel Farke, the Canaries are currently 15th in the Championship, two points behind North End ahead of this weekend’s meeting.

“It will be about the manager at the start but hopefully we can go there and quieten them down and play our game as well,” said Fisher.

“We know it’s going to be another tough game.

“It’s another long trip as well. But we’ll do what we need to do in training, travel down and be ready.”