Preston North End manager Alex Neil is focusing on his side’s preparations for their Roses battle with Sheffield Wednesday this weekend.
The Lilywhites boss is not trying to second-guess the thoughts of new Owls boss Tony Pulis, who takes charge of his side for the first time when they arrive at Deepdale.
And this means the PNE manager is concentrating on his own plans: “I don’t think we can plan for it; we have no evidence of what they are going to do,” he told iFollow PNE. “I have got a rough idea of what they might do, but I won’t know until the day.
“We won’t focus too much on how they are going to play, we will focus on how we are going to play, because it is a guessing game otherwise.
“They will potentially have other players who have been out of it, coming back in from the cold and maybe players being moved position, so we just have to focus on what we can do.”
The teams return to action after a two-week international break; but with players away, injuries and everything else going on, Alex admitted that nothing is routine.
“I don’t think this season is like any other season we have ever experienced; in terms of games, in terms of Covid and the precautions we need to take and the substitute rule now being changed – we are in unchartered territory in so many different ways,” he continued.
“All we can do is to try and do our best in the situation we currently have got. Forward planning really constitutes the next day, because you don’t know who and when people are going to be available with testing.
“We just need to get on with it and deal with what is in front of us, concentrate on the next game and see where that takes us.”
One player he has been without for the past ten days is Daniel Johnson, but he was delighted to welcome back the No.11 and pleased that he had started well with Jamaica.
“DJ is a quality player; he has done great for us and it didn’t surprise me the goal that he scored.
“He played 70 and 90 minutes and I would have liked that to have been less, but when you travel that far, you would rather get out there and play rather than sit on the bench.
“We are hopeful he is nice and fresh for us and that we get the best from him.”
The weekend’s game is the first of two home games in the space of a few days, but the gaffer is not looking any further than the weekend at this stage.
“We have spoken about the home form quite a lot and the only way to change that is by going and winning the next game.
“It is quite straight forward for us. It is not something we are getting too hung up on; yes there is some frustration there, but equally if we had won a few at home and a few away then it wouldn’t be a topic of conversation.
“Equally, our home form is something we should hoping to try and get more results in and this next game is an opportunity for us to do that,” he added.
To watch the game, you will need an iFollow match pass. We will have a three man commentary team at the weekend with former PNE and Owls winger Ross Wallace joining Jonathan Breeze and Paul McKenna on air from the earlier time of 2.30pm this Saturday – click here now to sign up for a £10 video match pass.