Darnell Fisher is relishing the challenge of the seven games facing Preston over the next three weeks.
North End resume action at Deepdale on Saturday against Reading – the home-town club of right-back Fisher.
After a below-par start in the Championship which has yielded one win, two draws and three defeats, this is a big spell for Alex Neil’s men.
Fisher told the Post: “It’s been nice to have the break to recharge the batteries but we all want to get back to playing the games.
“There are seven matches before the next international break so it’s a busy schedule, as was the first block of games at the start of the season.
“Last year we started the season fast – compared to that we haven’t started this season as well.
“I wouldn’t say it has been terrible, far from it, but we haven’t got what we’ve set out to do.
“That’s football, it is a long season and I’m confident we will get better.
“We can do better, make no mistake about that, and the manager will push us.
“If you look at the games, we maybe haven’t scored in some when we’ve been on top.
“We know where we can improve and I think we’ll be fine – we just need a positive result to get us going.
“During the international break we have worked hard, had some rest too, hopefully that will pay off.”
After the Reading game, North End hit the road to play Leeds and Sheffield United.
They return to Deepdale to face Middlesbrough in the League Cup – a tie Fisher is banned for after getting two bookings in the competition.
Then it is back to the league to face West Bromwich Albion (home), Aston Villa (away) and Wigan Athletic (home).
The next opponents being Reading adds a little bit more spice for 24-year-old Fisher.
“I’m from the Whitley area of Reading, that is only a few minutes away from where they play,” said Fisher.
“I had a trial with Reading when I was younger but that didn’t work out.
“As it was, I went down a different path to becoming a footballer and I’ve no regrets.
“I’m looking forward to playing Reading because it’s the next game and we want to get going again.
“Reading haven’t been in the best of form this season and hopefully we can use that to our advantage.
“They’ve got some good players though and it will be a tough game, like they all are in the Championship.
Ahead of the Royals’ visit, PNE will run a fitness check on Lukas Nmecha, the striker having missed the Bolton game because of an injury.
Alan Browne will have to be assessed too after injuring a calf muscle training with the Republic of Ireland.