Ashbee: Burnley win may give PNE hope

First published in Preston North End

Ian Ashbee believes victory over Burnley in tomorrow’s Lancashire derby could be the inspiration for rock-bottom Preston as they search for their first win in 12 league matches.

The rock-bottom Lilywhites are staring relegation in the face after failing to register three points since December 11.

Languishing 10 points adrift of safety, with a third of their Championship fixtures remaining, Preston face the prospect of beginning life in the third tier of English football next season for the first time in 12 years.

The Deepdale club have shown signs of life under recently appointed manager Phil Brown after picking up three draws on the spin against Watford, QPR and Nottingham Forest.

But veteran midfielder Ashbee knows they must start converting those draws into wins to stand any chance of survival.

“There has been a bit of change recently, and there is a lot more spirit in the side which was needed. It is what we have needed to have with the position that we find ourselves in the league,” said the 34-year-old campaigner.

“We have put in some good performances which is okay, but we need the three points.

Ashbee added: “Any derby game is a big game, no mater what part of the country that you are in. It will be my first experience of a Lancashire derby, but it is one that I am definitely looking forward to.

“We know what the game will be like, or what derbies tend to be like, so we need to roll our sleeves up, get into them and have a really good go.”

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