Preston North End full-back Darnell Fisher says that he and his teammates are ready for the ‘nitty gritty’ end of the season as they chase down a play-off place.
Fisher has made 23 appearances for the Lilywhites and has played a pivotal role in Preston’s fortunes this year as they look to win the biggest promotion English football has to offer. The full-back has been productive at both ends of the pitch having registered four assists as well as playing his part in Preston’s mean defence.
North End have a tricky run-in with Nottingham Forest, Brentford and Bristol City all crucial games if Alex Neil’s side are to finish in the top six this year.
Speaking about the run in, Fisher told official media channels: “This is the nitty gritty of the season now. After this weekend’s game we will be down to single figures in terms of games left in the season and when it is single figures, you know it is coming to an end.
“We have lost two on the bounce now, but we are still in the top six, which shows what we have done so far this season. It’s positive in a sense that even though we’ve lost two in a row, it is in our own hands and we just need to do what we need to do.
“We aren’t going to look any further than the game against Queens Park Rangers. We have to play that one and try and win the game and then move on to see who the next one is.
“Each game is a massive one. Any team can beat anyone else in this division and we have to go into the game with the right mentality.”
North End will be looking to avenge their opponents on Saturday with the London outfit getting the better of them in West London in December; an Eberechi Eze brace to no North End reply gave QPR all the points that day.
Should Preston win and games around them go in their favour, they could rise to fifth as well as creating a five point gap between themselves and Bristol City in seventh place.
The Lilywhites have managed to stay in the promotion picture for the entirety of the season, having only dropped out of the top six on a couple of occasions. A promotion to the Premier League would be massive for Preston as the club haven’t been in the first division since 1961.
A lot of what Fisher is saying is true. Preston North End are in a great position to make it to the Sky Bet Championship play-offs despite their run of consecutive losses. When teams have their own destiny in their hands, it is crucial for them to not get ahead of themselves. Focussing on one game at a time and exerting 100% energy into the QPR game will undoubtedly be Neil’s message to his squad.
Preston have been a joy to watch this season due to their tactical boldness. Neil has a way that he wants his sides to play and that is becoming much clearer as Preston develop each week. Despite going toe-to-toe with clubs such as Leeds United, West Bromwich Albion and Fulham, Preston have stood their ground as their victory over Fulham in December showed.
It is an exciting time to be a North End fan at the moment with the club well be within a chance of reaching the Premier League.