Former North End captain and player of the year winner Chris Lucketti looks ahead to a clash of his former clubs at the John Smith’s Stadium at the weekend.
The former defender joined the Lilywhites from the Terriers in the summer of 2001 – after the Play-Off Final defeat to Bolton Wanderers – and went on to play over 200 games at Deepdale.
The Littleborough-born former defender says that they are two very important clubs to him: “They are two clubs that I have played for and both have a special place in my heart and had some great times and great memories for both clubs.”
Our hosts in West Yorkshire have been in fine form so far this season and are five games unbeaten under new manager Carlos Corberán, but ‘skip’ says it will still take a while for the Spanish coach to achieve what he wants with the Town squad.
“It looks like they wanted a change of direction and a change of philosophy and style of play,” said the 49-year-old. “Bringing Carlos in from Leeds will be a great addition to the club and if he can bring in the ideas and a similar way of playing that Leeds play, then I am sure every Huddersfield Town fan will be happy with that.
“As much as he will have his ideas, it will be whether they have the players he wants to use those ideas and that can take a while for any manager to get the players to play a certain way.
“You can also get an immediate rise in performance and results and then it can drop down until the manager gets the players and the team that he wants.”
Chris, still the oldest English debutant in Premier League history, says the two clubs are very similar off the field and in their support staff and supporters.
“It is a very similar club to Preston,” he continued. “When I joined Preston from Huddersfield, the two clubs were so similar – the history, tradition of the club and what they had both done from the very beginning.
“They are two clubs who are both admired by the majority of people in football, because of the trophies they have won and how they have played their football down the years.
“The people behind the scenes are just normal, hard-working people, who want to see the team win, but they want to see them win in a certain style. Both clubs have loyal supporters and they are very similar in a lot of ways.”
The 2020/21 Championship is still in its fledgling stages, but the ex-Bury and Hal-fax Town man says it will be another tough campaign that has really moved on from the sides he played in with Saturday’s two Roses match participants.
“It was very competitive when I played 20 years ago, but it has jumped forward massively from a financial sense.
“There were lots of teams back then, like Preston did, who got promoted and then were challenging straight away to get into the Premier League – and were one game away from promotion in their first season.
“Now, for someone to get promoted from League One and to be challenging at the top end of the Championship, they are few and far between, because of the financial resources that a lot of clubs have, particularly those that come down from the Premier League with the parachute payments.
“The gulf is massive now in the Championship and it is now definitely the hardest league to get out of,” he added.
There’s loads more in our extended chat with Chris, as he discusses the 2004/05 team, playing and coaching behind closed doors and much more – just click on the video above to watch the whole thing.