PNE midfielder John Mousinho is wary of the threat posed by Wycombe Wanderers when the Lilywhites head there this Saturday in the FA Cup.
Mousinho had two successful seasons at Adams Park, winning promotion to Sky Bet League One in that time and playing alongside North End icon; now Wycombe boss, Gareth Ainsworth.
And he believes that his team-mates will have to be on their game if they want to be in the hat for round three.
Speaking exclusively to PNE.Com, Mousinho said: “I spent a couple of years at Wycombe a few years ago now when they got promoted from League Two back in 2008, so I have got some really good memories down there.
“There is not many left, but the manager I played with for, I think, six or seven months, so I know Gareth Ainsworth well and he was a brilliant player to be around at the back end of his career, so I think he will be doing very well in management.
“For the limited resources that Wycombe have got, he has done brilliantly well so far with everything that has come their way.
“There has been a lot of turmoil at the Club with it changing hands and now being owned by the Supporters Trust, so hopefully he can turn things around there and get what is a Club with massive potential out of League Two and firing again.
“They will definitely be up for a cup run.
“Wycombe have got quite a history in the League Cup and the FA Cup and they certainly know a big tie when they see one and I think everyone will be up for trying to get into the third round and it will be exactly the same for Preston.
“These are two clubs that have the potential prize of playing against one of the big clubs from the top division.
“I think when you get to this stage of the FA Cup, everyone is going to be up for it and sometimes the difference in the leagues counts for very little because on their day, players can raise their game, clubs can raise their game and make sure it is a level playing field.”
Ainsworth had three separate spells at Deepdale during his playing career, making just shy of 100 appearances; one of those, in the Third Division Play-Off final at Wembley, were North End lost to, of all teams, Wycombe Wanderers 4-2.
In that time, Ainsworth became a real fans favourite at Preston and from working with him at Adams Park; Mousinho is not surprised to see his managerial career beginning to flourish.
“It was unbelievable how much enthusiasm he had from day one when he came in, especially considering he was getting towards the back end of his career,” continued the PNE No.21 when discussing Ainsworth.
“He came in with a hell of a lot of enthusiasm and wisdom and help for the young lads and he still had a lot to offer in the tank in terms of playing, bombing up and down the right wing.
“I think pretty much wherever he has gone he has been a massive icon; not just because of his dress sense and his hair and his car and all that, but because of his playing style.
“It hasn’t surprised me at all that he has made a smooth transition from coaching into management and he is doing very well by all accounts.”
Mousinho has returned to Lancashire after his loan spell at Gillingham was cut short following a hamstring tear suffered at the weekend.
But Mousinho puts it down to just being one of those unfortunate things which happens in football, as he now begins the rehabilitation process.
“I just tore my hamstring on Saturday, unfortunately quite early on in the game,” added Mousinho.
“It was unfortunate timing really, I was just getting a few games down at Gillingham, things were picking up quite well, so it was a bit of a shame that it happened, but sometimes this happens in football and you have just got to get on with it and make sure you come back a lot stronger.
“I was just enjoying playing games again and I managed to nick a goal against Stevenage the other night which was pleasing.
“I think against any Club it would be pleasing but especially against my old Club.
“Like I said, it was great to get a few games under my belt, picked up a couple of good results as well, so things were looking quite good for Gillingham, so it was unfortunate in terms of the timing and the fact that unfortunately it is not just a hamstring strain, it looks like I have torn it, so I have just got to get my head down, rehab, and make sure I come back nice and strong.”