Aiden McGeady says Preston North End are still targeting a play-off place as they prepare to welcome fellow promotion contenders Reading to Deepdale this afternoon.
The 30-year-old has been in fine form for the Lilywhites, being named February’s Championship Player of the Month after three goals and four assists.
Simon Grayson’s men have since lost to Fulham and drawn with Derby in March but McGeady still believes North End, who are nine points off the top six, can mount a play-off challenge.
“The main thing is that the team is doing well, and the team has been doing well aside from the Fulham game,” said the Ireland international. “We’ve had a good season so far and obviously the play-offs are in sight but the Fulham game put a little bit of a dent in that run for us.
“I’ve had a lot of people say to me as well, ‘Preston are doing well this season’, whereas earlier on in the season, people were saying to me ‘where are Preston in the league?’. We’re quietly creeping our way up the league.”
Reading are fifth in the Championship table, 11 points and four places above the Lilywhites.
With a victory this weekend giving PNE the chance to make up ground on the Royals, McGeady admitted that the team just want to stay in touch with the promotion-chasing pack.
He added: “I think we just want to keep winning games and keep playing the way we have been playing. In this league anyone can beat anyone pretty much.
“Of course you want to make the play-offs that’s the ultimate goal. Nine points is a big gap to make up but as you’ve seen it can turn and swing very quickly in this league – there’s still ten games left.
“A couple of weeks ago Sheffield Wednesday were playing at home and if they’d have won, it (the gap) would have been to 12 points and that’s difficult to make up. Two weeks later it was down to six so it just shows how quickly the gap can close or widen.”
McGeady is now enjoying his time at Deepdale after a difficult couple of years, which included spells at Everton and Sheffield Wednesday following a stint with Russian side Spartak Moscow.
He said: “I’ve not had an extended run in a team for a few years and in the last couple of years I forgot what it was like to be a footballer. So I’m enjoying it again, training all week looking forward to the Saturday, and I feel it’s probably bringing the best out of me.
“I’m not a natural goalscorer but I like to chip in. When I was at Celtic and in Russia I’d get my fair share of goals from midfield.
“He (the manager) gives me the licence to just go and express myself and as a creative player that’s all you can really ask for.”