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Opposition View: Preston North End

10 February 2017

What to expect from tomorrow's opponents Preston with the Lancashire Evening Post's Dave Seddon

When we spoke in September you said another 11th placed finish after last season would be a great achievement, given that is where Preston are now, how would you reflect on the season so far?
After we spoke in September and Brentford won 5-0 the next day, I would have taken staying up as an achievement! Moving to the present day, Preston are going along steadily, don't lose a lot, probably draw too much, but have the core of a very promising squad. As things stand, I would like to think they can push on from their current 11th place and go higher.
Seven points off the Play-Offs, what would it take for Preston to mount that a late charge towards the top six?
It would take a consistent run of wins for North End to challenge the top six. In terms of not losing, they are consistent with just four defeats in 22 Championship games. But they need to string probably 4 or 5 wins together to build some momentum.
How much credit does Simon Grayson deserve for the job that he has done in his time at Deepdale?
I don't think he always gets the credit he deserves. Preston have improved every season under him - from staving off relegation when he first arrived four years ago, to play-off semi-finalists, to play-off winners, to consolidation last season.
After losing the last six between the two, and the result in September, Preston fans and players must be sick of the sight of us!
Too right we are! That run has to end sometime doesn't it? I take heart from 1989 when Preston beat Brentford at Deepdale 5-3 and the 4-2 a few months later. Time for a repeat please!
Who or what will be the keys to deciding Saturday’s game?
Coping with Brentford's movement up front will be key, something we have clearly struggled with in the past. Ben Pearson, who didn't play at Griffin Park, could be key to knocking Brentford out of their passing rhythm. Higher up the pitch, Jordan Hugill has been in good form lately and will carry Preston's big attacking threat.

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