PNE defender Scott Laird has labelled the Club’s Capital One Cup draw against Lancashire rivals Blackpool as ‘brilliant’ after the fixture was announced early on Monday morning.
The 25-year-old is clearly excited by the visit of the Seasiders to Deepdale and claims the match against Paul Ince’s side should cap off a thrilling start to the 2013/14 season.
“It’s an absolutely brilliant draw, the first game of the season will be on the Saturday and then the Capital One Cup commences that week,” Laird said.
“It’ll be a great couple of weeks to look forward to starting our season off.”
The game will be a poignant affair for North End manager Simon Grayson who spent time at Bloomfield Road as both a player and manager, securing Play-Off success and leading Blackpool to the Championship in the 2006/07 campaign.
However, while Laird is certain the match will be an intriguing spectacle, the left back is confident Grayson will put his emotions to one side when preparing to face his former Club.
“Of course everyone is going to mention that and it might come up a couple of times but it won’t affect him,” he added.
“He’s professional, like everybody else, when you play your old team you just get on with it.
“You’re in football – that’s your profession and that’s your job so he will be totally focussed on us beating them.”
Meanwhile, the former Plymouth Argyle trainee has highlighted the importance of the tie being played at Deepdale and believes the Preston fans can play a massive part in deciding the outcome of the game.
“We all know when Deepdale gets going it’s rocking and the fans are very vocal,” Laird said.
“It’s a hard place to come as an opposing team and, for us, it’s definitely an advantage if we can get as many fans through the door, it’ll be brilliant for everyone in the City.”
“We need a big crowd through the door and all the fans are telling me how big the game is.
“But we know as footballers how important local derbies and bragging rights are, especially if they’re not in our league, and we don’t get to play them every year.
“It’s always a special occasion when we do get to play them so it’s going to be a great game and one everyone is looking forward to.”
And Laird is intent on preserving the Lilywhites’ incredible record against Blackpool in cup games, having never lost against their opponents in either domestic competition.
“That’s a nice piece of history that we’d definitely like to keep and I’m sure if we apply ourselves then we will have a great chance,” he concluded.