Next up in PNE’s Championship preview is a trip to the capital with Brentford the latest team to go under the microscope.
Warburton’s side finished fifth and were only denied a Play-Off final berth by Middlesbrough who beat the Bees over two legs in the Play-Off semi-final in the 2014/15 campaign.
Brentford won many plaudits during last season, but a different direction from the top to the bottom at Griffin Park saw Warburton leave the club at the end of the year.
His replacement, Dutchman Marinus Dijkhuizen who has already master-minded three promotions as a manager since taking his first coaching job in his native home land at VV Montfoort.
Alongside Co-Director of football Phil Giles, Brentford will be hoping this new system will see them go one better than the season just gone.
Head To Head
The last time these sides met proved to be extra significant for both teams.
Whilst Brentford knew a win against the Lilywhites could see them secure promotion, North End, who themselves had automatic promotion aspirations of their own were celebrating their annual Gentry Day – the first since Sir Tom Finney departed.
The Gentry sung their hearts out for the 90 minutes, but a controversial Alan Judge penalty after half hour proved to be the defining moment in the match.
North End came close to equalising through Paul Gallagher and Alan Browne in the second-half but Brentford held on for the 1-0 win, that’s despite being awarded another penalty which saw Alan Judge slip before taking the spot-kick.
The win saw Brentford clinch a place in the Championship for the first time since 1993 – whilst the defeat saw Preston having to settle for the Play-Offs.
The 2015/16 campaign promises to be Brentford’s last season at Griffin Park, with the club aiming to move into their new 20,000 purpose built stadium at the start of the 2016/17 season.
For this season however, Preston will travel 227 miles to the 111-year old stadium on the 19th September, with the ground currently holding 12,000 spectators.
Played for Both
The most recent notable footballer to have donned the Lilywhite and Brentford shirt is Patrick Agyemang. The Ghanaian International played 12 times during a loan spell for the Bees at 1999 and four years later signed for PNE and added 21 goals to his tally over 100 appearances for the North End.
Other players to play for both include Billy Broadbent and Neil Clement but who can forget club legend Alex Dawson who before his short stint on loan at Brentford, had six glorious years for PNE.
Dawson’s 132 goals in Preston colours sees him fourth in the all-time Preston goal scorers list behind Alex Bruce, Tommy Roberts, and Finney.