Huntington: We’ve bounced back

Date published: Monday 24th August 2015 1:18

Huntington: We've bounced back

Six days ago North End’s automatic promotion hopes were dashed at struggling Colchester as Simon Grayson’s side relinquished second spot to MK Dons and saw their 18-game unbeaten run in League One come to an end.
Instead of preparing for holidays and parties this week, Grayson’s squad have had to focus on a two-legged play-off semi-final clash against Chesterfield.
But they remain on course to take full advantage of their second chance having defeated the Spireites 1-0 on Thursday ahead of Sunday’s return leg at Deepdale, where the hosts have not lost in the league in six months.
“If we get to where we want to it will be all the more pleasing,” defender Huntington said of achieving promotion.
“It’s quite good that these games have come around so quick. We’ve enjoyed that – the opportunity to show the reaction – and we were able to bounce back.”
Any suggestions that the heartache suffered at Colchester would disrupt North End heading into this tie were quickly dispelled when they claimed an early lead at the Proact Stadium.
And Huntington knows there is no time to dwell on what might have been as they look to advance past a team they finished 20 points ahead of over the 46 games.
“Like the manager said, you sometimes don’t get what you deserve,” the 27-year-old added.
“But you’ve got to look forward. We’ve got another opportunity and this is to get to Wembley. We’ve just focused on that really. (The Colchester result) is out of the system.
“I think you saw that with the reaction of the lads on Thursday night and I think you’ll see that again. We’ve got to work even harder for each other and stick together as a group.
“It’s a great squad for the league that we’re in and we’ve got to go out and show that and not just talk about it.”
Chesterfield dominated possession in the first leg but the lack of an end product meant Preston goalkeeper Sam Johnstone remained largely untroubled.
However, despite heading to a venue which has been a fortress for Grayson’s side, Spireites manager Paul Cook expects his men to dictate play again.
“I think we’ll get control of the game again on Sunday but whether we can take our chances and whether that will be enough to see us home remains to be seen,” he said.
“I don’t think the game will be any different to Thursday night. I know we will have long spells in the game where we control it but this time we must penetrate.
“We are getting beat 1-0 so we know eventually we must score a goal.”
The visitors may need to draft a goalkeeper in on loan before kick-off if Tommy Lee cannot overcome the ankle injury he sustained in the first leg.

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