The latest team news
Everyone who was available for the Birmingham City game is also available for this game. Nothing else to report
Our recent form
Tomorrow's game is just as crucial as the last four which we only managed to draw. We will do everything we can to get back to winning ways. It is very important to have that wider view on things and the performances have been at least good enough to get two wins out of four, maybe closer to three or, with a good wind at our backs, four. We are searching for that margin to change it. For me it is about being a tiny bit more dangerous and scoring a few more goals which is easier said than done. It is my job to find a good solution and see if we can twist it to make ourselves a bit more dangerous. Sometimes you can get a little bit away from how we are actually performing, and we are actually performing relatively well. If we can get back to those top performing ways the points will come.
Combatting social media abuse
Me personally, and us as a Club, are very much against any kind of abuse. In this modern world, we are living in a much more tolerant world. I think the world is in a good place but the problem, compared to 20 or 30 years ago, is that one voice is going to make a hell of a noise out there because of one tweet. One person gets too much attention. Of course it should never happen but, out there in the world, there are always crazy people. Social media companies have a big responsibility to close it down quickly and there should be big punishments for doing any online abuse. People need to educate each other to make sure that, especially in football where there is so much emotion involved, that you have a proper tone. It’s OK to criticise but have a proper tone; never get personal.
I really like what those clubs (who have boycotted social media platforms) have done. It is good to take initiative and to do something about it. We, as a Club, are thinking about what to do extra. We have many discussions internally. Jon Varney was at an EFL board meeting yesterday to find out what the common stance is from the EFL. We are definitely on it to see what to do.
Chasing down the top two
We will fight to the end to get to the highest possible position, no doubt about that. It is very obvious that we need to win games to get in a better position. The performances have been there or there about. We are giving almost nothing away defensively and we are working very hard on the offensive relationships to try to give us that edge and create more chances, and by that more goals, and more wins. It is a lot about training, about confidence, and getting that little bit of momentum you can build on. Then you suddenly take that touch forward, or you look up and play behind, or you believe a little bit more in your one v one action or your finish.
We are a mid-table budget club, we sold the two best offensive players in the league last year, little Brentford broke the Championship transfer record twice last year with those players. We have had four key players out for a very big amount of the season and, if I compare that with the teams we are competing with, I have the strong feeling that they haven’t been that unlucky. Even then we have more points than last year, I think we are doing an unbelievable job.
Preston North End
It is an extremely tough game. The interim manager Frankie McAvoy has done an extremely good job. They looked like a different side in their last two games compared to earlier in the season. Since I have been here, we have always struggled a bit with Preston. There haven’t been many games we have won; last year we struggled away, and we won at home. This season we had a very good first-half and a nightmare second-half. We are very aware of what sort of task is ahead of us. We need to be at our absolute max to get three points.
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