Up next in PNE’s Championship preview is a Lancashire derby to gear up for in Blackburn Rovers.
On that occasion, Blackburn did the double on their Lancashire counterparts, but North End will be gunning for their first victory against Rovers since 1997.
Keeping hold of their best assets has been tricky for Blackburn, especially bearing their transfer embargo that’s been in place since the end of last year.
Josh King has already departed, whilst keeping hold of strike force Rudy Gestede and Jordan Rhodes may also prove to be a challenge.
Last campaign, for a small chunk of the season Gary Bowyer’s side had aspirations at taking one of the six Play-Off places, but that ambition soon turned to dust after Rovers tailed off towards the end of the season.
Having said that, Rovers finished in a solid 9th position, and will be hoping to mount a similar push next time out.
Head to Head
An old rivalry that goes way back into the 19th Century, and although Preston overcame Blackburn in the head-to-head stakes, they have only beaten Rovers twice in 37 years.
One of those came in the 1978/79 season where Rovers were trounced by a North End side managed by Nobby Stiles.
Rovers took an early lead inside three minutes through David Gregory, but from then on it was one-way traffic in PNE’s favour.
Nine minutes after falling behind, Preston equalised through Michael Robinson with the former North Ender slotting the ball into the net.
Steven Doyle gave Preston the lead for the first time in the game, before Alex Bruce grabbed a brace to give Preston a commanding 4-1 victory, and derby bragging rights.
An away day plenty of North End fans will look forward too, Ewood Park has been the home of Blackburn Rovers for 125 years.
Preston fans will be housed in the Brian Douglas Darwen End when they make the trip to East Lancashire in April, with that being a designated 12:30 kick-off.
Played for Both
There are currently two players in the Preston squad that have donned the jersey of both Lancashire sides throughout the years with star men Joe Garner and Paul Gallagher coming through the youth ranks at
Gallagher made his Blackburn debut in a 2-0 win over Arsenal in 2003 and made a total of 60 appearances for the Club.
Despite a prolific scorer at youth level for Rovers, Garner couldn’t register an appearance for Blackburn and moved on to Carlisle United in 2007.