One man in the Preston North End squad has more reason than most to look forward to the Lilywhites’ next fixture.
Tom Bayliss should be in the squad to face the club he joined the Lilywhites from in the summer of 2019 and for the second game in a row he will face off against a club he has a big connection to.
This came after the joy of a Boxing Day victory, where he was on the pitch as skipper Alan Browne scored a 97th minute winner against Tom’s dad’s club!
“All the lads were buzzing after the game,” he told iFollow PNE. “There is nothing like a last-minute winner on Boxing Day.
“You come away from your family and they are all celebrating while you are there with the lads and it was good to get the win.
“My dad is a Derby fan, so it was good to get the win and everyone of the lads were buzzing. I got a few texts afterwards, but I enjoyed it and it was good to be on the pitch when Browney popped up and put it in the back of the net.”
The 21-year-old PNE No.7 has come off the bench for North End in seven of the last eight games and is enjoying the game time.
“I am enjoying it,” he continued. “Every footballer wants to play football and get games, so I am really buzzing to be getting time on the pitch, coming off the bench and contributing.
“There’s been a couple of wins and a couple of losses of late and we are really searching for that consistency of results and trying to get up that table.
“When I get on the pitch I try and help the team as best I can and if the results are wins, that is always good. All we are talking about at the moment is getting that bit of consistency and that momentum to push us up the league where we know we can be and we probably should be.
“We have had a couple of good results, but we need to build on that and try and keep it going over the next few games. It is a really tight league and anyone can beat anyone on the day.
“We are always looking up, we are not concerned about looking down the table, we only want to go up the league and so we are looking forward to the next few games.”
The midfielder, who came through the Sky Blues ranks, going on to make 73 appearances, scoring nine goals, before his move to PR1, will come up against his former employers for the first time on Tuesday night and admits it will be strange, but he only has one thing on his mind… another three points.
“I am looking forward to it. There will be a lot of familiar faces and a lot of people I will have played with for a long, long time. It will be good to see them, but when it comes to matchday I will really want to win the game.
“I know the manager, the staff and the players and they have done well since they came up. I have watched their progress and I am really happy for them, because it was a good club when I was there, but come Tuesday night I will be looking for the three points.
“They started off the season and their games seemed to have lots of goals and be really exciting – they were winning some and losing some – but more recently they have been a lot more solid, kept a lot of clean sheets and are picking up points. If you come up from League One, that is what you need to do, to solidify your position in the Championship.
“I have never experienced this before, so it will be different for me, but my focus is on PNE and going and getting another three points to take on to the next one,” he added.
You can watch the full match live on iFollow PNE on Tuesday night, with coverage beginning just after 7.15pm, with commentary from Jonathan Breeze and Graham Alexander. Match passes are now available for just £10 – click here now to sign up for yours.