Popular former striker Jon Parkin left the Lilywhites to join Sunday’s opponents Cardiff City in January 2011, we caught up with ‘the Beast’ to preview the Bluebirds’ latest trip to Deepdale.
The Barnsley-born forward, now entertaining people via his podcast ‘Undr The Cosh’ alongside former Lilywhites team-mate Chris Brown, joined the Welsh side when they had a plethora of attacking talents.
And He is very familiar with one of their current ranks of attackers, having shared a house with Welsh international Kieffer Moore during their time together with Forest Green Rovers back in 2016/17.
“When I went to Cardiff, we had some Real flair players: Bellamy, Whittingham, Boothroyd and Chopra and it seems to me that Neil Harris has got a more solid team that can battle its way out of the league and he doesn’t have as many flair players as when I was there,” Jon told PNE.Com.
“They have some big, strong lads, but they can also play well. If you give Kieffer [Moore] service, he will score goals in any team. He’s not easy to play against for centre halves and they have a side that is hard to beat, good at set pieces and can also hit you on the break.
“I lived with Kieffer at Forest Green and he never really got a run in the team and he has realised with age what he is good at doing and how to be effective.
“When you are a big striker like that, it does take time to learn what you need to do and how you do it and when Barnsley signed him, he has never looked back. He is a great lad, works hard and deserves the success that he is getting.”
‘Parky’ always seemed to play well for North End whenever the side from the Welsh capital were in town and he feels his displays in two memorable 3-0 and 6-0 victories played a big part in his move to the Cardiff City Stadium.
“That must have been the reason why Dave Jones signed us,” he continued. “I just always seemed to play well – I don’t know why? It wasn’t just me personally, we always seemed to do well against them as a team.
“We played them twice at Deepdale in my time and we did them three and six and they were in the top four in the league in both seasons at that point. We were good at home, don’t get me wrong, but we always seemed to play well against them.”
The game, live on Sky Sports, will once again be played without crowds and the now 38-year-old admits that it would have been difficult for him, but understands why a few more risks are being taken and a few more goals scored.
“I don’t think there is an ‘away game’ any more. I think it is like playing at a neutral venue. You have your travel and you might have to stop in a hotel, but the lads are used to that any way.
“I genuinely feel that it is like playing at a neutral venue. I think I would have struggled playing with no crowds. I used to love getting abused at away games, which happened at every single one, so I think I would have struggled with nobody in.
“It is always better if you are making mistakes and there aren’t 20,000 battering you! It means you can shrug it off, but depending on what sort of player you are, you can either thrive off a crowd or it can send you under and with no crowds there, there is no-one to send you under really,” he added.