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Parkinson asks for more from his side ahead of derby clash with PNE

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Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
Phil Parkinson has warned his Wanderers not to stand back and admire their recent handiwork, and raise their game at Preston on Friday.

A five-game unbeaten run before the international break has put the Whites back in touch with the teams above the relegation zone.

Victory at Deepdale could lift Parkinson’s men out of the bottom three, at least overnight, and place pressure on the likes of Burton Albion - who are in action against Sheffield United on the same night - Birmingham City and Sunderland.

But in order to gain three points in the Lancashire derby, the Wanderers boss feels his team have to produce their best football of the season to date.

“In the last five games we’ve given ourselves a chance,” he said. “We’ve got ourselves on the shirt-tails of those above us and now we’ve got to push on again.

“All the performances, which have been better, have got to go up another notch. The individuals who have taken their game up a level have got to go up again.

“That’s what we have been stressing to the lads already this week. Of course we’re pleased with what they’ve done between the last two international breaks but this is now a really important run of games up to January, and we’re ready for it. I feel like we’re enjoying it. The lads and all the staff are focussed on this next batch of games.”

Wanderers will be keeping a close eye on the fitness of Aaron Wilbraham and Adam Le Fondre, who are close to recovering from hip and calf injuries, respectively.

“The squad is probably better than it has been for a while,” he said. “We just need Wilbraham and Le Fondre to get over little niggles to strengthen the striking department because I feel we’re a bit light in that area.

“We’ve got lads like Craig Noone and Will Buckley who are absolutely chomping at the bit to get a game, so we’re pleased with how we’re looking.

“We had an in-house game this week and had two good elevens out there.

“The lads are on a high – or as much as you can be, because we’re still in the bottom three – but in terms of where we are right now compared to the first 11 games, we’re in a lot better place, mentally.

“We have got to take that into this next run of games, starting with Preston on Friday.”


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