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First Team News

Paul McKenna Sees Big Similarities To His Play-Off Chasing PNE

26 March 2018

Former North End skipper Paul McKenna believes the current crop of Lilywhites promotion chasers are very similar to the sides he played in that reached two Play-Off Finals and two other semi-finals during his time at Deepdale.

Speaking to iFollow PNE, the now retired midfielder compares Alex Neil’s side very favourably with the ones he played with under the likes of Neil’s fellow Scots David Moyes, Billy Davies and Alan Irvine.

"It’s almost a similar scenario to when I was there, over the ten years,” he said. “We had some great players who went on the have great careers in the Premier League and things like that, but we were always kind of a selling club, we had a lot of workmanlike players and it was a well-run smaller club in the Championship.

"We didn’t have the fan base of others, we didn’t have the money behind us like others and that was inevitably what cost us getting to the Premier League on a few occasions when I was there.

“You can see at the minute they’ve got a great set of lads who are willing to give their all to the manager and for the club, but sometimes they’re just lacking that little bit of quality that the top sides have got which can open teams up.

"If there is that influx of money to go that one step further, it can also be a double-edged sword - we’ve seen it numerous times, where you look at Birmingham for example, they’ve been given an open cheque book, but when you sign the wrong kind of players it can also kill your club.

"Just having money isn’t a guaranteed recipe for success in this league, you’ve got to spend it wisely and get people in who are really looking out for the best interests of the club.”

‘Kenna’ believes the current team spirit is also akin to the sides he had success with and thinks that this could be what makes the difference over the remaining weeks of the season.

"When I was there it was a great set of lads and we all mucked together and that’s why we probably overachieved for most of the years we did,” he continued. “We used to go to clubs and we knew they were on a lot more money than us and they were a lot higher profile players, but that also sometimes forms divides within the changing rooms.

"With us, we were always on similar money, there were no egos in the dressing room, that would get knocked out of anybody that came into the squad and we all mucked in together and it was sleeves up and lets go and get a result.

“It was almost David and Goliath every week, you’d go to places like Leeds in front of 30,000 and we were almost expected not to win that game and it was that fight and that desire to go and prove people wrong.”


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