Preston North End can take great pride in season so far says keeper Declan Rudd
If the football season was to finish now, Preston goalkeeper Declan Rudd believes the players and the supporters should be proud of their efforts.
League games across the four English football divisions were suspended on Friday due to the outbreak of the coronavirus.
The disease has spread across the world after first appearing in China. It has infected and caused the death of thousands of people.
With the disease spreading easily from person to person, the Premier League and the EFL took the decision to postpone games until April 3.
There are no guarantees that the season will not reconvene after this time and there is the very real possibility that it will not be played to a finish.
The ramifications should that happen are unknown but it is likely that all of Preston’s efforts will go to waste.
PNE No.1 Rudd said last week ahead of the scheduled trip to Luton Town on Saturday that he hoped the season would carry on, even if it meant playing games behind closed doors so that supporters were not put at risk.
However, he accepted that for the safety of players, officials and club officials, the best course of action would be to shut the season down. In terms of results on the pitch, the suspension has come at arguably the worst possible time for North End.
Having topped the table earlier, Alex Neil’s men are currently on a three-match losing streak and are clinging on to sixth spot by their fingertips.
The home defeat to QPR – where the Hoops scored twice with 10 men to win 3-1 – caused a great deal of consternation around Deepdale.
But Rudd believes there should not be too much doom and gloom among the supporters even if current form has not been up to scratch.
“I think it just all goes to show how tough and difficult this league is,” he said. “It is probably is the most difficult in England.
“You could look at teams in fourth all the way down to the team in 12th, who have all not really been able to put a run together over the last five or six games.
“The fact that we are still in a play-off position having lost our last three games shows that.
“I think we have got to take it as a positive and how well we have done that we have had a bit of a blip and we are still in a play-off position.
“But we have played some good teams – the game against QPR was always going to be a dangerous one.
“They have no fear of relegation but are not really pushing for promotion so the pressure was off and they could just go out and play with freedom.
“As much as you don’t want it to, the position we find ourselves does create that added pressure because you are that desperate to get in a play-off place and win promotion.”
Rudd believes luck has also played a part in the recent downturn in results.
“It’s probably a poor way to look at things but luck does play a part,” he said.
“You look at Sean Maguire hitting the post in the first half and then crossbar in the second half against QPR.”