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Sam Saunders working hard to be involved against Preston North End

21 January 2016

Winger looks ahead to Brentford’s trip to Preston North End

Sam Saunders is looking forward to another succesful trip to Lancashire as The Bees head to Preston North End on Saturday in the Sky Bet Championship. Sam has played in Brentford’s last three visits to Deepdale which have seen two wins and a draw and he wants to continue that run this Saturday.

Speaking to Bees Player ahead of the match Sam said: “We won 3-0 the last time that we went to Preston North End. They started brightly but then David Button saved a penalty and we went up the other end and scored. It is a big open pitch which suits us. It means that we can get the ball down and play. They like to hit Joe Garner so we have to be aware of that, make sure that we are compact and then look to get on the ball.

“It is a ground where we have got good results in the past, I remember going up there under Uwe Rösler and winning, even Shaluem Logan scored that day so it must be a good ground for us! As a footballer you have grounds which you have fond memories of because you have won before and you get that little bit more confidence. However, at three o’clock when the whistle goes it is 11 new players that you are up against so it just comes down to who performs better on the day.”

Sam has made nine appearances for The Bees this season with last week’s start against Middlesbrough his first for Brentford in a little over two years. The 32-year-old admitted it had been a tough two years out of the starting XI but is now targeting a run in The Bees side.

“It is always nice to play,” said Sam. “That is what I am here for. I have had a tough couple of years in terms of injuries and not getting picked. It is nice to be involved. You work hard on the training field and in the gym every day to be able to take your opportunities when you get them. It was a surprise to start against Middlesbrough because if anything I thought I was going to get some game-time against Walsall on the Saturday.  I was delighted when the gaffer told me and I got through 60 minutes and felt like I had a lot left to go. That was good considering I hadn’t started for such a long time and to get 45 on Friday was nice again. The team hasn’t been said yet for the weekend but I am hoping that I am involved in some point again on Saturday.”

With a near clean bill of health in the squad and off the back of a run of four straight defeats Sam said training has been very intense this week.

“Training has been good,” said Sam. “We had a tough session on Tuesday and Monday was quite hard as well because we had Saturday and Sunday off. The mood in the camp is good. When you lose nobody is happy about it and we have had a couple of losses recently. Everybody is looking to bounce back now and put those losses behind us. In football once you get a win confidence can shoot straight back up and luckily we have got two games in four days coming up.

“There are players in the group who want the shirt and there are players, who maybe haven’t been performing to the right level, who want to keep the shirt. People are working hard in training because they want to play on Saturday and that competition for place always makes training intense.”

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