Steve Bruce previews Preston North End clash

Steve Bruce during the game against Swansea.

Steve Bruce says he’s emphasised the importance of a strong start to his side ahead of their Sky Bet Championship fixture against Preston North End.

Albion travel to Deepdale on Wednesday night (ko 8pm) looking to bounce straight back from a 3-2 defeat to Swansea last weekend.

And the manager, despite expecting a difficult test from PNE, insisted he’s “determined” to kickstart a winning run in Lancashire.

"We certainly have to arrest this first 10 or 15 minute syndrome that we’ve got at the moment, it becomes a mental thing and can turn the situation around in our favour," explained Steve.

"There’s a huge disappointment among everybody, and everybody’s in it together and we understand the frustration of the supporters. There’s nobody as frustrated as we are.

"But we keep on kicking ourselves in the foot with giving away goals in 10 or 15 minutes – it’s probably happened seven or eight times now. That normally doesn’t happen over a whole season, let alone quarter of a season, so that’s a frustration that we have to address to give ourselves a fighting chance.

"However, we can’t feel sorry for ourselves, we’ve got another game coming up. At the moment, results haven’t been good enough, but I’ve said many times, I do believe we’re close, but we’ve got to make sure we defend better.

Steve Bruce gestures during the game against Swansea.

"My frustration is that I haven’t been able to turn the results around," explained Steve. "That’s a frustration I’ve had over the last few months in particular.

"I’m determined to do that, and we’ve got a chance to start doing that on Wednesday. My total focus is on that.

"What have they (Preston) had? Six goalless draws so far? They're very difficult to beat and as always, whenever we go anywhere in the Championship, it'll be a difficult game. It’s all to play for."

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