North End go looking for their first win on Teeside in 30 years at the weekend, as they take on Garry Monk’s Middlesbrough at the Riverside Stadium.
Ronnie Hildersley’s rocket in the FA Cup fourth round at the old Ayresome Park ground in January 1987 was the Lilywhites’ last victory over Boro on their own patch, but the current young crop of North Enders love to break a record and will be aiming to do that on Saturday afternoon.
Manager Alex Neil will be looking for another three points, which would see his side go into the international break after an excellent start to the new EFL Championship season.
The Opposition View
Home wins over Sheffield United, Burton Albion and Graham Alexander's Scunthorpe United in the Carabao Cup earlier this week have given Garry Monk a positive start to life with Boro, but he acknowledged to his local paper, so have the Lilywhites.
“They’ve had a very good start,” he told the Northern Echo. “I know Alex [Neil] very well, and he’s a very good manager. They’ve started really well, and like every game, we know it’s going to be difficult, very competitive.
“We had a good result on Tuesday, which was a good response to losing against Forest. We want to take the positives from that and finish with a good result before the international break.”
PNE Team News
Manager Alex Neil was delighted to see Calum Woods and John Welsh come through a behind closed doors game against Fleetwood Town at Springfields this week.
Woods, out since last pre-season after a cruciate knee operation, played 90 minutes against the Cod Army, whilst Welsh, out since October 2016 with a calf problem, played the first 45 minutes as they get close to a return to the first team fold.
The PNE boss also confirmed that Declan Rudd had got a full week of training under his belt, but that Paul Gallagher would again miss out after suffering concussion in last week’s clash with Derby County at Pride Park.
Experiences defenders Greg Cunningham and Tom Clarke continue to be ruled out, which means Josh Earl could continue after impressing on his debut in the home win over Reading last weekend.
For our final game before the international break we have a match official who was recently promoted to the Elite Group Two list.
The referee for the clash at the Riverside will be Darren England – the second time he has taken charge of a Preston North End game, both of them away from Deepdale.
His first game was the final match of the 2016/17 season, and it was his first Championship game, in the fixture against Wolverhampton Wanderers at Molineux.
Last year, in total, he took charge of charge of 42 games, including the one in the Black Country, issuing 121 cautions and nine red cards in those fixtures and was chosen to referee the League Two Play-Off Final involving Blackpool at Wembley.
So far this season, he has officiated at the four ‘cities’ of Coventry, Hull, Birmingham and Bristol and this weekend will be assisted by James Mainwaring and Nick Hopton, with Andy Haines acting at fourth official.
We once again look at some of the stats connecting the two clubs and the date of this weekend’s game at the Riverside:
- Middlesbrough are not the only club from the town we have faced in our long history, as they had a short-lived local rival in Middlesbrough Ironopolis. Known as the Nops, 1893/94 was their only season as a league club, but we did face each other in successive seasons in the FA Cup. In January 1892, we won 6-0 at Deepdale, but the following season, the Nops surprisingly gained a replay with a battling 2-2 draw at Deepdale. Order was restored in the north east when we overran our hosts with a 7-0 victory that included a hat-trick from Frank Becton.
- Today’s game is only our fifth at the Riverside Stadium, where we are seeking our first win. Our first two games with Boro were at their original Linthorpe Road ground, the first ever being an FA Cup tie in 1892 after we had beaten the ‘Nops’, whilst our first league game in the town was in November 1901.
- The majority of league games took place at Ayresome Park where we only managed six wins in 37 attempts. Since a 4-0 win in 1953, we have only won once more in 14 attempts on Teesside, that coming in 1971 thanks to the only goal of the match by Alan Tarbuck. Our biggest victory saw us win 5-2 in 1951, whilst we were on the wrong end of a 5-1 scoreline in 1925.
This is the latest fixture of the new iFollow broadcasts. If you live outside of the UK and Ireland you can sign up to iFollow Premium and watch the game live!
Every game that is not shown live on Sky or chosen at the ITN main game on Channel 5, will be available for iFollow Premium subscribers who live outside of the UK and Ireland – you can sign up for a season pass or just one game at a time.
For those in the UK who can’t attend the game will be able to receive audio commentary of every game as well – and this weekend the audio commentary will be provided by Guy Clarke and former North End striker Brett Ormerod.
As well as this, our matchday centre on PNE.Com will be in full flow, as well as all the usual coverage on our social media channels of Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. You can interact with us on any of these channels.
We will again be testing proving an audio commentary on the live overseas video feed for iFollow customers ahead of hopefully implementing a permanent solution in September.
Tickets for the trip to the Riverside are still on sale. PNE have been given an allocation of 1,198 tickets, which are available online at MyPNE.Com until 1.30pm on Friday, by calling 0344 856 1966 or in person from the ticket office before the later time of 4pm.
Ticket prices for this match are as follows: Adults £30, seniors (65 and over) £20 and U18s £17. Tickets will be on sale on the day as well, with no matchday increase.
There are 12 pairs of wheelchair and carer tickets available and disabled supporters pay the relevant age band, with the carer ticket free of charge if required.
Coach travel is available for this game and is priced at £18 for all, with coaches departing Deepdale and Leyland at 11am.