Phil Brown has made a good impression on Stephen Bradshaw, can he do the same to his Preston side?
Can Preston fans believe once more?
He's only been here for a few days, but first impressions are good.
OK, we lost to Forest in The Cup - no great tragedy this season, and, to use that well worn expression, we can now concentrate on the league. I thought the lads put in a good shift, there was definitely a better spirit on the field and we were unlucky to lose. Most of all we looked more organised.
It's very obvious that the squad has no depth and, with loss of loanees and key players through injury, we were down to bare bones. Lone striker Chris Brown left early with an injury but, in my opinion, his replacement, Paul Hayes did a good job up front in a 4-5-1 formation.
I would have preferred a more attacking line up, especially in a one off cup match at home, but realise that in effect this match was more important for long term planning in the upcoming battle to keep our Championship place.
It was strange to see our old manager Billy Davies and our new manager sat just a few feet apart in the dugouts.
They were good days under Billy and we nearly made the big time on a couple of occasions before his acrimonious exit a few years ago. His usual hostile reception was somewhat muted by the appearance of Phil Brown, but perhaps more of the supporters are beginning to realise what could have been and just what Billy nearly achieved with PNE.
Strange too, to see a beefed up Darren Carter make a return to the line up after his loan at Millwall. Played quite well in the first half and scored a delightful goal to put us in front. But, like so many, many times this season, we managed to turn a lead into a defeat.
Credit to Billy Davies for changing his tactics at half time; he really went for the win with three up front, while we stuck with the 4 - 5 - 1. But, I think the main reason for the defeat was tiredness - the players gave so much in the first half and a few are carrying injuries. But, overall, a promising debut for Phil Brown.
With Ian Hume out through injury, it was nice to see young Danny Mayor having a run out. This boy has so much potential and skill but just lacks the confidence to run at the defence into the penalty area. Combined well with young right back Conor McLoughlin, who had another good game and who looks like a great prospect.
It was difficult to pick out a man of the match with everyone putting in some hard work, but I think Sean St Ledger just gets it. He looks to have got his football appetite back and deserved to wear the captain's armband.
We are promised more incoming players to bolster the squad in days to come. But today, the impossible looks more achievable.