Chris Wilder has dismissed the notion that Preston North End will be on the beach on Saturday afternoon.
Middlesbrough face the Lilywhites for their final game of the season, with Boro chasing the play-off places.
The gap to the top six is two points, so only a win will do for Wilder’s side as they visit Deepdale for the final fixture of the regular campaign.
But, despite PNE having secured their mid-table finish in the Championship table, the 54-year old has dismissed the idea that Middlesbrough’s opponents won’t be at their best.
The Boro boss has insisted that there are no easy games in this division, and that Preston will come out of the blocks with everything still to prove.
“What a load of rubbish” said Wilder, via The Northern Echo.
“I’ve sat in here for three months and answered the same question every other week about people not having anything to play for and this that and the other.
“I’ve come out with a consistent statement. It’s that they are professional footballers, they got to that position by being professional and wanting to win. I’ll leave it at that.”
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Preston are currently 14th in the table going into the final day of the action, but could rise to as high as 10th if they can earn all three points in their last home game of the campaign.
Defeat could also see the team fall to 16th place, indicating that the club may want to end the season on a high note and earn a top half of the table finish.
The pressure will all be on Middlesbrough, who need to win to have any chance of securing a play-off place.
That pressure will be a difficult factor for the Boro players to handle against Preston.
Ryan Lowe’s side don’t quite have as much to play for as the visitors do this afternoon.
But a top half finish is still something that the team can aim for, and will likely act as a better motivator than some of the other teams with little else to compete for.
Of the four sides still fighting for a top six finish, this is arguably the most difficult opponent one of them has to face for those reasons.