Wigan Athletic manager Paul Cook is looking forward to what he describes as a ‘great game’ as he brings his side to Deepdale.
The Latics boss has his side on the cusp of the Play-Off positions after the opening 11 games and will arrive at PR1 hoping to stop for the international break inside the top six.
Speaking at his pre-match press conference the former Chesterfield and Pompey boss said: “It's a great game. The geography the way it is, ourselves, Blackburn, Bolton, Preston, they were probably the fixtures all the managers looked for.
“It is guaranteed a good crowd, it is, in my opinion, two sides who are trying to play good football and I can only envisage it being a good game.
“In this league you don't get time to blink, you are as quickly finishing one game as you are preparing for the next one and the fixtures don't get any easier. It is a tough league, the time frame to prepare is short and Preston is a very tough game for us on Saturday.
“We will hopefully turn up, and I am sure Alex and his staff are aware, we are not going to go to Preston and defend the ball, we are going to go and engage in what will hopefully be a brilliant derby match that people will speak about at five o'clock 'what a good game that was'. Ideally, we come away having won, but if not, we move on.
“You can't see it being 0-0, but then you never know!”
Cook spoke about the Lilywhites and was full of praise for the club and his opposition number, Alex Neil: “I can only speak very highly of Preston, what I think of them and Alex as a manager, of how they play the game and their recruitment policy of brining younger lads in to go on and hopefully improve them,” he continued.
“Going forward they have been excellent; I am sure Alex will want to tidy up whatever he feels is right, but you don't finish seventh last season - with the run they had - and then all of the sudden the wheels come off.
“They probably haven't had the start they wanted, but I am sure in the coming games and in the time that is required Alex will get them exactly where they want to be.”
And he feels that the togetherness at Deepdale is one of the main factors that will see the side improve.
“I think Alex has a team with spirit and togetherness in abundance. I have had the privilege to watch them three or four times this year and they are always involved in very good games.
“The margins with Preston this year are so small it is untrue, but because of the position they lie in Alex gets told that every press conference and every game.
“But the reality for me is that Preston will evolve and end up where they want to be and that is a healthy league position of safety, because not only have they got a good manager, but they have got good players and are a good club.
“I don't think anything has changed at Preston, they have had horrifically bad injuries, they have lost by small margins in games that last year they were probably winning and over a period of time I am sure Alex will get them exactly where they want to be,” he added.