On the back of their first win of the year North End face Coventry at home looking for another positive result.Advertisement
After 15 games without a win The Lilywhites thrashed Scunthorpe in midweek and now have a real chance of winning again against a struggling Coventry side.
The Sky Blues have won just once in their last 17 matches and the run spelled the end for manager Aidy Boothroyd who was sacked on Monday.
On December 11, Coventry were in fifth place and pushing for promotion.
Since then the Sky Blues have only won one game and dropped down to 19th while North End have failed to drag themselves off the bottom of the league.
Despite their poor form, Coventry also enjoyed a good night on Tuesday, having battled back to take a draw from high-flying Burnley.
Follow minute-by-minute updates from the crunch match, with our PNE man Andrew Smith:
Manager Phil Brown was delighted with the performance in midweek. He said: “I thought that first half performance was probably our best of the season so far. We got that bit of quality in the final third which I’ve been asking for and we got that on numerous occasions in the first half.”
Brown claimed the win gives PNE a chance to start climbing up the table. “If you’re separate from the pack and adrift at the bottom nobody respects you. In two games we could get a little bit of respect and something from the games as well,” he said.
Caretaker managers Andy Thorn and Steve Harrison are expected to take charge of Coventry for the encounter while former Premier League bosses Roberto Di Matteo and Chris Hughton have been linked with the full-time post.
One of the other front runners is former North End manager Alan Irvine who could well make a return to Preston sooner than expected.
Similar upheaval has taken place at Deepdale, where Brown has shocked fans by terminating the contract of club captain Callum Davidson after seven years and 166 games for the club.
Goalkeeper Wayne Henderson, who only played nine games in four years, has also left Deepdale.
There is speculation that Wayne Brown could also leave the club in the near future. The centre back played under Phil Brown at Hull and was deemed surplus to requirements at the Tigers.
The Lilywhites do not have any fresh injury concerns but hope to welcome back David Gray as well as Barry Nicholson, who came off the bench against Scunthorpe. Leon Cort will face a late fitness test if he is to replace Craig Morgan at the heart of the defence.
Coventry have no new injury worries and will be looking to Aron Gunnarsson and Lee Carsley to control their midfield.
But Coventry’s main threat will probably come from their forwards. Gary McSheffrey and former Everton man Lukas Jutkiewicz both scored against Burnley and will look to trouble North End’s defence.
PNE will be looking for Keith Treacy and Iain Hume to threaten Coventry’s defence. Both of them scored against Scunthorpe and as they can both create and score goals North End will be relying on them tomorrow.
The Lilywhites need a run of wins if they are to have any chance of staying in the Championship.