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Thu 23/03
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Sat 25/03
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Preston Preview

By: Richard Hubbert
Date: 24/08/2001

GRIMSBY TOWN take on Preston North End tomorrow at Blundell Park on the back of two league wins and the defeat of Lincoln City in the Worthington Cup.

Home > 2001-2002 Season > Previews > Preston (h)


Preston are no mugs however, and the fixture should be an interesting test for Lennie Lawrence's squad.

The Manager

David Moyes

The fiery Scotsman, whom is said bases his style of management on Alex Ferguson, has undoubtedly transformed Prestons fortunes in the last few years. After languishing in the bottom half of division two in the 1997/98 season, Moyes built a squad that the next year managed to get into the play offs.

After disappointingly missing out on promotion, the next season Moyes led his team to the second division championship and in their first season back in division one, finished 4th and just 90 minutes away from a place in the Premier League.

This magnificent achievement has made Moyes hot property and he was offered the Southampton job only this summer. To his credit he refused and has since put pen to paper on a new contract, with the whole of Preston hoping that the 38-year-old can lead the Lillywhites to the Premiership, where they so nearly got to last yeat.

After taking only a point from the first two games (including a 5-0 whipping by Gillingham) and the alleged dressing room bust up between Moyes and two players on the clubs pre season tour, people have begun to doubt whether Preston can make yet another assault on the play-offs.

Star Player

Jonathan Macken

Jonathan Macken more than shook off his "Man Utd reject" tag last season by banging in more than 20 goals for North End. His ability to shake off defenders tackles with robustness and efficiency was there for all to see, not to mention his clinical finishing and awareness of others.

After being rescued from United's reserves by David Moyes, Macken scored in only his second game for Preston, away at Luton in the 1998/99 season. It was the following season that Macken showed his full potential, scoring 22 goals in the Lillywhites championship winning season.

This carried on last season, with further goals to his credit, linking up well with new striker partner David Healy, and Moyes has been subject of a reported £4 million bid from West Midlands outfit Wolves. The Lancashire club are determined to hold onto the talented 23-year0old who will no doubt be amongst the goals this season.

Past Positions

 

2000/2001 Season4thDivision 1
1999/2000 Season1stDivision 2
1998/1999 Season5thDivision 2
1997/1998 Season15thDivision 2
1996/1997 Season15thDivision 2

Past Meetings

Back on the first day of last season Preston secured a 2-1 win at Blundell Park in what was to be Alan Buckley's last home game in charge of Town. But Town took revenge after winning 2-1 at Deepdale back in December. This game marked Dutch midfielder Menno Willem's first goal for the club, when he scored with a free kick that eluded Preston keeper Tuevo Molianen. Town's other goal game from Paul Groves, which sealed Towns comeback after going 1-0 down within 60 seconds, when Preston's Jon Macken opened the scoring.

Preston Head-to-Head (79th on The Opposition Ladder).

Hopes For This Season

The general consensus among the pundits is that Preston will be somewhere around the play offs this season after last season's tremendous finish. However, after a shock 5-0 loss to Gillingham and the alleged brawl between manager David Moyes and some of his players, the jury is out on Preston's strength and character to come through this bad spell.

Moyes has made his feelings on Prestons defending public and only this week secured the signature of Huddersfield defender Chris Lucketti to plug the hole that has already leaked six league goals in two games.

Realistically with the likes of Colin Murdoch, Sean Gregan and David Healy, Preston should finish mid-table at the worst. Their only problem could be a lack of experience, but after the recent signings of experienced campaigners Kevin Gallagher and Chris Lucketti, Preston should once again enjoy another good season.

Ins/Outs

IN: OUT:
Kevin GallagherFree from Newcastle
Richard Cresswell£650K from Leicester
Chris Lucketti£700K from Huddersfield
Paul MorganFree to Lincoln
Dominic LuddenFree to Halifax

Visitors Injury List

At the moment, there are no serious worries for Preston, but Chris Lucketti is expected to start alongside Colin Murdoch.

Preston Squad: Preston: Lucas, Edwards, Alexander, Murdock, Lucketti, Jackson, Cartwright, Rankine, Gregan, McKenna, Healy, Macken, Moilanen, Gallacher, Keane, Cresswell, Anderson

Prediction For Game

There is no doubt that after two losses, the pressure will be on Preston to come up with the goods, but it isn't only Preston who are under pressure. After Tuesday night's game against Lincoln, expectation is on me to get this prediction right, as I predicted that Town would win 2-1. So, after predicting the Crewe and WBA games to be 1-1, I will do it again hoping that it will be third time lucky!

Fishy prediction: 1-1 Draw. Reader's POMs

Directions

Click on the link for directions to Blundell Park.

Preston's Preview



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