Darnell Fisher says North End will be fighting for a Championship play-off place next season
Darnell Fisher says Preston’s focus is firmly fixed on the play-offs again after one near miss and last season’s slide out of contention.
The right-back will start his third season with North End next month after being Alex Neil’s first signing in 2017.
He sees no reason why they won’t challenge for the top six in 2018/19, although a helping of consistency won’t go amiss to give them a hand.
Fisher told the Lancashire Post: “The aim is the same as the first day I got here.
“The gaffer wants the play-offs and everyone in the changing room wants that too.
“We got close in my first season here but last season was a bit disappointing.
“Hopefully we can give it a good push this time and see where that takes us.
“We got ourselves into a good position last season when we put that good run of form together.
“Then we had that week when we played Sheffield United, Leeds and West Brom, that killed us.
“Sheffield United went up, Leeds and West Brom both got to the play-offs.
“It was a tough week and things went against us but those are the games you have to get through if you are going to do well.
“I look back at that run and we should have got something from Sheffield United.
“Leeds we went down to 10 men, then at West Brom we didn’t start well and there was a lot going on outside of the game which didn’t help.
“But we can’t use excuses, it’s up to us to find a way to deal with tough runs like that.
“This will be my third year here, it feels like I have been at Preston a good while.
“Hopefully my third season is a good one and we can look back on it fondly.”
Fisher and his team-mates will get their first run-out of the summer at Bamber Bridge today (3pm), the pre-season friendly a welcome break from the intensity of training.
“Pre-season is the worst thing about being a footballer but it has to be done, it sets you up for the season,” said Fisher.
“It is about getting through it, no one enjoys it – if you do, you are a special breed!
“At the moment there are longer distance runs as well as the shorter, sharper stuff.
“As you get further into the pre-season, it becomes more about working sharper over shorter distances.
“What we call the ‘four fours’ is the tough one we do at the moment.
“It’s four minutes around the pitch, rest, then you go again. You do that four times.
“You get your fitness that way, as well as doing the ball work and shorter runs.
“We’ve got a lot of games coming up now and as they come along, more of the work is done with the ball.
“As the games come you start to feel sharper.”