Home form is key: Preston must maintain the good form at Deepdale, says Declan Rudd

Preston North End's Declan Rudd
Preston North End's Declan Rudd

Declan Rudd says Preston’s strong form at Deepdale in the early weeks of the season has been encouraging.

The Lilywhites have won three out of three at home in the Championship, while they also saw off Hull on penalties in the League Cup.

Last season, North End won as many games on the road as they did in front of the home faithful.

And the campaign before, their away record was better than at Deepdale.

PNE goalkeeper Rudd told the Lancashire Post: “Our home form is something we wanted to change.

“Last year our away form was much better for a lot of the season.

“We want to be strong away but we have talked about the home form and producing more at Deepdale.

“To have won three out of three in the league at home is really good but that is only a start, we want to keep that going if we can.

“Maybe it’s been more of a change of mindset and that has been important.

“We want Deepdale to be a ground where teams dread to come and play us.

“You look back at the Wigan game here was important.

“We’d lost on the opening day at Millwall and Wigan was the first home match.

“It was vital we played well and we scored early. We went on to win and put in a really strong performance.

“We’ve gone on from there to beat Stoke and Sheffield Wednesday.

“The mentality we’ve had in those games is something which needs to continue in the games ahead.”

Preston start up after the international break with a home game on Saturday against Brentford.

Over the next few weeks they also face Manchester City (League Cup), Bristol City and Barnsley at Deepdale, with trips to Birmingham City and Middlesbrough.

Assessing the first month of the season, Rudd said: “It’s gone quite well in general.

“When you looked at the fixture list it was always going to be a tough start but I think we have done well.

“Looking back, we should have had a couple more points than we have.

“The depth and versatility of the squad has been shown these last few weeks.

“We’ve had to get used to injuries here and that is when you need the squad.

“Lads have shown that they can fit into different positions and put in good displays.

“We’ve been without a few of the lads up front but have still been creating chances and taking them.”

Meanwhile, PNE’s academy team beat Accrington Stanley 6-0 on Saturday.

On target were Joe Nolan, Louis Potts, Tyrhys Dolan, Jacob Holland-Wilkinson and Aaron Bennett (2).