North End going south?

Date published: Thursday 15th December 2011 9:42


We head into the Christmas period in good form after another impressive away victory over lowly Scunthorpe United at the weekend.

However, everything really does now seem geared towards one of our biggest league matches for many a year, the trip to Deepdale on Boxing Day. This is more significant as we have not exchanged blows with the Lilywhites for some 14 years.

We have been allocated 5,000 tickets for the Bill Shankly end of the ground and I would love to see the end full of Blues fans roaring the club onto a vital three points in the quest for an end of season play-off berth.

With Preston North End finding life tough this season after relegation from the Championship, this could be an ideal time to visit the Lancashire outfit and inflict some more misery to a season that is now under the stewardship of Peter Risdale as chairman. Could things go a lot more horribly wrong for the Lancashire outfit?

It has recently been well documented that Mr Risdale has a knack of upsetting his own supporters, Leeds United and Cardiff City spring to mind and I would be not surprised if he continues this trend at PNE.

Back to the action and the Boxing Day clash is perfectly set up for a mouth watering show piece. With the Blues posting their fifth away league win of the season at the weekend and PNE unable to conjure up a home victory since the 24th of September, the ingredients are there for an intriguing tussle.

The last time I visited Preston for a Carlisle fixture was the 1993/1994 season. At the time we were fighting hard for a play-off berth, déjà vu to this campaign, and needed three points to keep the chances alive.


Even more exciting was the fact that the Lilywhites were in exactly the same situation and we took thousands to Deepdale and produced our best away performance of the season as we hammered them 3-0 on their artificial plastic pitch.

However, even though we both made the end of season lottery of the play-offs, we succumbed to newly promoted Wycombe Wanderers in the semi-finals and ironically our Lancashire neighbours then lost to the Buckinghamshire outfit in the final.

Meanwhile, before the date with destiny we have one more league fixture to fulfil against no other than our 1994 nemesis, Wycombe Wanderers, who are the visitors to fortress Brunton Park this Saturday.

If ever the old adage held true that these are the games that we must win to secure a play-off position, this is it. The Wanderers have a poor away record of two wins in 10 and this is something that we must take advantage of and be ruthless in our search for promotion points.

Earlier in the season I mentioned in one of my blogs that consistency is the key and this is the most important necessity that we are still yearning to grasp.

We seem to have a knack of getting a good result and then follow it up with a poor performance, this is something that we have to cut out and Saturday will be a vital test to improve upon this weakness that we still possess.

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