Preston North End defender taking nothing for granted ahead of Reading match

Andrew Hughes is taking nothing for granted as Preston North End travel to Reading on Friday evening in the Championship.
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North End kick off the weekend’s action with the game in Berkshire, live on Sky 8pm kick off. It will be the third game in six days for the Lilywhites but they won’t mind it, having won their last two.

They go in search of three in a row for the first time this season, after securing back to back home wins for the first time this campaign on Tuesday.

Preston North End's Andrew HughesPreston North End's Andrew Hughes
Preston North End's Andrew Hughes
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Hughes was restored to the starting line up for that game, having been on the bench on Saturday as PNE switched to a four man defence, reunited with Jordan Storey and Liam Lindsay with whom he had not played alongside since the middle of September.

A win on Friday would see PNE jump into the play-off places.

“We had a meeting before the Middlesbrough game on where we want to be and we're on course for what we want to do,” Hughes said.

“It's important to keep the momentum going, that's why it's an important game against Reading. We know there is not one easy game in this league, everyone can beat everyone.

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"If you look at Huddersfield last year they were in the play-offs and this year they haven't started great.

"It just goes to show that each season is different, the struggling reading before is a good Reading now. That's how it goes.

“If you can back up your wins you'll find yourself flying up that table. I feel that with the break, this is a very important time now with these two games to keep everything going and leave everything on the pitch.”

A clean sheet against Swansea City in the 1-0 win on Tuesday made it 11 for the season for PNE, in just 19 games. The most regular defence so far has been that of Hughes, Lindsay and Storey and it was again on show against the Swans.

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Hughes explained the understanding that the trio have at the back and where they aim to be come the end of the season.

He said: "We had a meeting in pre-season and we set ourselves targets on clean sheets and where we want to get to this season. I think it was 17 clean sheets that we said and we're fully on course for that. If we can keep the record going you're always in with a chance of winning a game.

"I just think we feel really connected and we know each other's game now. I know if I go up for a header Lindsay will be round to cover and vice versa on the other side. I feel like we're playing really well with each other.

"But it's not good keeping clean sheets if you just keep drawing games so I'm glad we've turned that corner with the goals situation.

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"If we can win our next two games we'll probably be in the play-off positions for the break and that's where we want to be, we don't want to have another season where it just fizzles out and we're mid table and we're just ticking along. We don't want that.”