GLYNN SNODIN expects a positive reaction when Huddersfield Town begin the countdown to another League I play-off bid at Preston tomorrow.
Hugely disappointing Easter defeats by Sheffield Wednesday and Bournemouth have ended hopes of automatic promotion.
But the experienced coach says it will be business as usual as Town chase a first win at Deepdale since 1969.
“Seeing the chance of second place disappear is a big blow to our supporters and everyone at the club,” said Snodin.
“But it’s important to remember that our promotion bid isn’t over, because the play-offs provide a huge opportunity.
“The first priority is to ensure we are involved, and three points at Preston will go a long way to doing that.
“But we also want to get the season back on track and build up some form, momentum and self-belief.”
Snodin says the recent home victory over Charlton, one of seven clubs where he has been on the management team, shows what Town are capable of.
“We need to do the basic things well and get the ball into the opposition box more, it’s as simple as that,” added the South Yorkshireman.
“Sheffield Wednesday and Bournemouth both did it better than us, and now we have to do it better than Preston.
“The lads are an honest bunch, and they know they can improve so much in terms of staying composed and making the right decisions.
“We need to be much better in the four remaining league games, and the players know that a few wins will put a much better complexion on things.”
While Town need to maintain or improve on their current fourth position to clinch home advantage in the second leg of the play-off semi-finals, Preston aren’t yet free of relegation fears.
The Lilywhites lie 16th, seven points above the drop zone, and are without a win in six, although boss Graham Westley believes things are looking up.
The 44-year-old, involved in a post-match spat with former Town boss Lee Clark at the Galpharm earlier this season when in charge of Stevenage, has had a turbulent start at Deepdale.
Phil Brown’s successor, who has two wins in 17 games at the helm, claimed four of his squad leaked team news to Sheffield Wednesday before the 2-0 defeat last month.
He added at the time: “That shows what we are up against. But it doesn’t surprise me. When you have got people in your own camp working against you it is tough.”
However Westley said after Monday’s 1-1 draw at his former club Stevenage: “That was the best performance since I arrived.
“We got on the front foot and tried to take the game to them, and I thought we bossed long spells of the match.
“There was a sense of purpose about the team and the players showed more understanding of what is expected of them.
“I have seen a lot of progression over our last couple of games (Preston drew 1-1 at home to MK Dons last Saturday).”
Westley is without experienced striker Neil Mellor because of a knee injury, but welcomed back Iain Hume against MK.
The Canadian international has bagged 10 goals this time despite having time out due to knee and hamstring problems.
Now the former Barnsley man is out to better his tally of 12 goals last season, when Preston were relegated from the Championship.
“I’m enjoying my football and I want to finish the season on a high,” said the 28-year-old, who started out at Tranmere and has also played for Leicester.
“Over the two Easter games, we looked a completely different team than in the previous couple of months.
“The work ethic of every player has been brilliant.”