Opposition View: Deepdale Digest
Tell us a bit about your background as a Preston fan…
Got dragged to a game when I was about five and was never really allowed to deviate from North End! In each of the first three seasons I attended Preston games, we either won promotion or were in the play-offs so it was a great time to start as a North End supporter.
After a slightly rough start to the season, where do you think the Lilywhites can improve in the next couple of games?
Goals! We haven’t scored in either of our first two games and really need to start hitting the net. The 4-1 Carabao Cup win over Huddersfield was really needed and hopefully we can take that into league games moving forward. The approach play has been decent enough for the most part but finding that end product has been the issue.
From the handful of signings Preston have made this window, who has impressed you most so far? And who do you look forward to seeing more from?
I loved the Freddie Woodman deal, it’s almost un-Preston to sign a proven Championship player that still has so much potential. Loanee Alvaro Fernandez has arrived with a big reputation from the Manchester United Under-23 ranks and has already shown glimpses of becoming an outstanding attacking threat from left wing back.
Would you like to see the squad strengthened more before the end of the transfer window, and do you have any names in mind?
Right wing back has to be a priority right now, there’s no getting around it. Ethan Laird and Brooke Norton-Cuffy have been mentioned as loan targets and they would certainly provide an attacking thrust down that side. We also really need another striker but, as we all know, they can be the hardest to sign. Ideally a permanent signing in this area just to give North End come continuity in that area moving forward.
Having shared 6 points with the Hatters across the two fixtures in the previous season, what do you make of Luton's transfers and can you see them matching their impressive 21/22 campaign?
It’s always hard to match that kind of success but Nathan Jones is a quality manager and Luton have kept most of their side together. I liked the signing of Carlton Morris even if it was a little pricey. Alfie Doughty could be a really good left wing back if you keep him fit and Luton seem to use the market of experienced Championship players well. A top six finish may be tough but I can certainly see a top 10 finish.
Time for some predictions - who do you think will (i) get automatic promotion, (ii) make the playoffs, and (iii) get relegated?
Automatic promotion I’m going for Norwich and Middlesbrough with - in no particular order - Burnley, Sheffield United, West Bromwich Albion and Watford. I made those predictions in pre-season so I kind of have to stick to them, but I’m not feeling too confident on the latter two right now! Relegated, I’m going for Reading, Birmingham City and Blackpool - I feel like saying Blackpool will only curse Preston but they don’t seem to be in a good place right now.
Finally, give us your score prediction for the Weekend's game…
Both sides have started with two draws but, buoyed by the win over Huddersfield on Tuesday night, I’ll back Preston for a 2-1 win this time!