Speaking to the Lancashire Post, Preston North End striker Ched Evans has revealed that Preston must play with confidence in their remaining games to avoid being dragged into a relegation dog fight.
The former Sheffield United star joined Preston in February after making his loan move from Fleetwood Town a permanent one. Evans impressed during his time with the Cod Army scoring 34 goals in his three seasons with the League One side.
Since joining the Lilywhites, the Welsh striker has contributed with three goals including two in his last six but positive results for the club have been hard to come by.
The club are currently without a permanent manager after the departure of Alex Neill. The former Norwich manager decided to leave his role by mutual consent with the club sliding closer to the relegation zone after a run of three straight defeats.
Frankie McAvoy has been given the job of overseeing the side as a caretaker manager for the foreseeable future and Evans has shown his support for the new man in charge.
During an interview with Lancashire Post, the striker said: ““Frankie has got the respect of the players and staff. He’s the No.1 now and it is a case of moving forward.”
Despite recent poor results Evans remains optimistic about North End’s chances of avoiding a relegation battle and pointed towards confidence being the key factor in ensuring they stay out of trouble in the coming weeks.
“Frankie has been talking a lot with us about playing with confidence. When we do play with confidence, we are a really good team so we need that back.
“In the last few weeks we were playing Saturdays and Tuesdays and not getting the results we wanted.
“When that happens it kind of knocks the confidence out of you.
“Probably in the last 10 games or so everyone’s confidence was low. If people weren’t playing they were getting annoyed and upset.
“Playing with confidence tends to lead to creating more chances, taking shots, your passing is better, you play on the front foot, not the back.
“That has formed the basis of a lot of our work since Frankie took over.”
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Preston and Evans face a tough challenge on Good Friday as they welcome top of the table Norwich City to Deepdale.
Having lost their last three games in the league and are now without a full-time manager the threat of dropping into a relegation battle is very real for Preston.
Their next three games see them take on Norwich, Swansea, and Brentford, three sides who are battling it out at the top of the table trying to gain promotion to the Premier League.
North End do still play three teams below them in the run in though including Derby and Nottingham Forest, which could be a nerve-wracking final day tie.
Preston should feel confident they have enough quality to avoid relegation despite a tough three games coming up.