Exclusive BEN PEARSON Preston North End column: It’s time to up our game away from Deepdale
The Charlton game at the weekend is one I’m looking forward to.
They’ve been flying so I think it’ll be a tough game.
Like everyone says nowadays, when you’re up there, every game is a big game and you want to stay up there.
We haven’t been as good away as at home this season so we need to change that.
We’ve just got to keep plugging away, keep picking up the wins and keep picking up points away from home to stay around it.
It’s just one of those things at the moment. In football and in life people are always looking for solutions.
It’s one of them where you just perform better at home.
I think in the games we’ve played away, we’ve performed well in the majority of them. I think there was only really Reading that we performed under par in.
A couple of seasons ago we were winning every away game and this season we can’t seem to win too many away from Deepdale – I suppose it’s swings and roundabouts.
I think if we get one the rest will come, a win away from home coming up would come at a good time.
On Sunday, it would separate us from Charlton a bit if we get the win.
That pattern needs to move around now, there are about 10 teams within four points so it becomes dangerous if you lose a couple. We need to cement that.
There’s nothing worse in this league, if you get the momentum on a bad run you could lose three or four in a row and you’re down to 14th.
I don’t think anyone needs to get carried away, we are second in October, come December we could be 14th and everyone hates us! So I’m not too fussed about it at the minute.
And I don’t think the game being on TV on Sunday makes a difference either.
I have actually got a haircut this weekend but it’s nothing to do with the TV. I go every two weeks for probably only an inch off.
The only thing that isn’t ideal is the 12 o’clock kick off.
I get the TV money and why it is, but I don’t think that football games should be on at 12 for the players or for the fans.
If you’re going in the car you’re setting off at six or seven o’clock in a morning.
Then from a player’s point of view, your routine gets damaged and you’re eating funky foods at eight or nine o’clock in a morning.
Both teams have the exact same so it’s a level playing field but I would prefer three o’clock.
When I look ay my own performances, my game is fine at the moment.
I think I’ve been up and down – like most seasons you have your good games and your bad games.
I try to be on a consistent level. I’d probably have liked to have done a bit better over the last couple of weeks, a number of reasons have affected that.
But it’s a long season, we’ve only been going two or three months.
I don’t think anyone remembers what happens in August, September or October. It’s about sticking in and around the play-offs and the top two until February and March and that’s when the real stuff happens.
That’s when the pressure kicks in and big players will have to come to the fore.
We’ll hopefully have 11, or 14 or 15 players all kicking into gear and giving that push.
I was surprised by our performance against Blackburn.
You often get, probably every game, two or three who are under par and then your eight or nine other players pull them through and it goes unnoticed to an extent.
Then you’ve obviously got games when all of your 11 are on fire, which is what you aim for.
As a player you are never out of the game – a sending-off or a lucky goal can change any game.
Lucky for us we got the goal from their mistake.
It very rarely happens that everyone plays well or everyone plays badly, it just so happened that everyone played poorly.
Over a season, that’s maybe going to happen once or twice, we’ll just hope it’s the once and we’ll crack on with the end of the season.
That brings a bit of pressure, but I don’t really pay much attention to the pressure or what people say.
I go home, I do my own thing, I go to sleep. I don’t really listen to anything being said.
I just come to training, do my best, get myself prepared for the game and play the game and go home.
I think at the end of the day it’s a job, and it’s my job.
It’s like anyone else – they go to work and go home.
I just crack on, there’s a job at hand and we all know what that is. I’ll just keep going about things the way I always have.