Official Match Thread: Preston North End V Middlesbrough May 2, 2022 8:36:12 GMT PNE From Afar, walburghian, and 8 more like this
Post by Phantom Winger on May 2, 2022 8:36:12 GMT
Preston North End V Middlesbrough
Saturday 7th May 2022
Saturday 7th May 2022
Another season comes to an end and it’s another mid table finish for North End. The fanbase will have differing views on that. I see it as relative success. We’re in a good league with lots of local derbies and we are as likely to beat Bournemouth as Reading at home such is the unpredictability of the championship. Our attendances indicate we should be scrapping with relegation more years than not but we will finish nearly 30 points from the drop zone. The club needs to sit down over the summer and work out how we are going to bank 10 more points with a refreshed squad but without the likes of Iversen, VDB and Archer. It’s a challenge for sure and a couple of new signings will accelerate encouraging season ticket sales. So plenty to look forward to and Luton have shown it’s possible.
On to the game, the stakes for Boro are high. Only a win will do and yet may not be enough to join the lottery of the play offs to win the most lucrative prize in league football. Our visitors are in decent if not sparkling form - 8 points from 5 games - goal scoring seems something of a weakness compared to their rivals in the top 6 so it’s a game we should look to win. Manager Chris Wilder has had a promising first season at Boro winning 50% of his games in charge and he could nudge his former club out of the top 6 by 3pm Saturday. I remember Chris as a quick copper haired right back with the blades in 1986 when I first went to uni. He played there in three different divisions including the first division until 1992. I was speaking to Ian Bryson in the boozer after the legends game and he hopes to catch up with him at the weekend. There will surely be a large away contingent cheering Boro on while also listening to the commentary of Sheffield United V Fulham from Bramhall Lane. Sure to be nerve shredding stuff for them.
The home side pretty much picks itself with everyone fit but with Hughes out there’s a big shout to see Hunts play on last game for the Lilywhites. He never lets us down when called upon such is his preparation. Would be great to see even if it’s just from the bench Grezza style. Personally I hope to see DJ at LWB to accommodate McCann in midfield. I’m a big fan of McCann and would like to see him settled in a midfield role. It will be interesting to see if Mikey gets more minutes after impressing the manager at Barnsley - he describes him as a special talent. Could he replace Archer for the last game? Maybe too soon and more likely he’ll join the game from the bench. Anyway I’m looking forward to the game. The best we can hope for is a top half finish above the lashers but it’s sure to be an interesting summer at Deepdale with eyes firmly on outgoing players as well as new signings.
Enjoy the summer break.