Preston North End vs Sheffield Wednesday Preview – Interview with @RSSport2

Preston North End have started the season with 2 wins and 2 losses, how would rate that start?

Given it took us until the start of September to reach six points last season, I think it’s been an excellent start. The opening day defeat to Millwall was disappointing but since then we’ve put in good performances in every game. Both home wins have seen some excellent football played & if we’d taken a few more chances at Swansea before half time, I reckon we’d have gone on to win.

What are your thoughts on Alex Neil as a manager?

Alex Neil came in off the back of Simon Grayson’s departure and the best compliment you can give him is that he has propelled the club up to a new level. The football played is some of the best I’ve seen at Deepdale since I started going to games 13 years ago and our away form has generally improved as well. It was a massive boost, and statement, that the club managed to tie him to a new contract last season after the West Brom interest.

How good was your summer transfer window?

Preston fans would give you a mixed response on this one – the business we did was very good, but perhaps the lack of a backup left back was a disappointment. Having said that, Joe Rafferty has slotted in to that position fine in the absence of Andrew Hughes due to injury, and we have January to revisit that issue if needed. The squad is in such a position that I don’t think it needs major investment – the players we have will keep on improving.

Which player should Wednesday look out for on Saturday?

Billy Bodin has come back into the side after missing the whole of last season due to injury and his ability to cut in from the right side has caused sides plenty of problems so far.

(Billy Bodin has made 21 appearances for North End – scoring two goals so far. Photo – lep.co.uk)

If you could have one Sheffield Wednesday player at Deepdale, who would it be and why?

The other position that we arguably needed to strengthen was the centre forward spot, so I’d love to see Steven Fletcher in a North End shirt. Some of his skills are invaluable at this level and I think he’d thrive in Neil’s system.

What should Wednesday expect from the Preston side?

We generally look to build up play carefully using the width of the pitch rather than take the more direct option, but we mix it up depending on the state of the game/the types of defenders we’re up against. The addition of Patrick Bauer adds a physical element to our defensive play and Ben Pearson is one to watch.

What is your predicted line-up and formation?

I think PNE will play a 4-2-3-1:

Rudd

 

Fisher

Bauer

Davies

Rafferty

 

Pearson

Gallagher

 

Bodin

Johnson

Harrop

 

Barkhuizen

 

What is your match prediction?

PNE 2-1 Sheffield Wednesday

How do you think Preston’s season will go?

Last season’s biggest problem was consistency – we went on unbeaten runs of nine and 12 games but finished 14th – so I think if we get that sorted then the side has the quality to have a real push for the top six places. Of course January could be important as well.

Thanks to Ryan for answering the questions,

You can follow me on Twitter – @OpinionOfAnOwl

You can follow Ryan on Twitter – @RSSport2