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02/03: Preview: Preston North End
Opposition opinion
by PNE fan Steve Gaughan

What happened last season?
Overall it was another good season for Preston. After a disastrous start including an opening day 5-0 drubbing at Gillingham, the team returned to playing some good football and started getting more favourable results. The signing of Chris Lucketti helped steady the defence and the goals started to come with Richard Cresswell enjoying a good run of form up to Christmas.

The prospects for the season were not helped with the unsettling of striker Jon Macken. Wolves made a few bids for him and the Preston board refused them, but it became obvious that the striker wanted to leave. Also, it appeared that as soon as any club lost a manager, David Moyes was top of the wanted list to replace him.

Man City eventually came in with a 5 million bid for Macken and off he went. He was closely followed by Moyes who took over the reins at Everton with a 1 million compensation package agreed. The loss of these two will probably not be known until the end of the 2002/3 season.

Despite all this, the team still pushed for a play off place for the second consecutive season and in the end only missed out by three points.

What's going to happen next season?
The appointment of Craig Brown seems to be a sound one by the board but his lack of club management is a worry. However, with the assistance of Kelham O'Hanlon who has been at the club for nine years, the Preston fans will be hopeful for a play off place this time round.

The squad seems fairly settled albeit the possible departure of club captain Sean Gregan to West Brom. New signing Ricardo Fuller appears to be Brown's first shrewd move and a lot will be expected of the Jamaican international. If he can make an impression then along with David Healy and Richard Cresswell, there should be enough up front to suggest Preston can enjoy another successful season.

Can you recommend a pub for away fans?
"The Deepdale" which is behind the Town End (south side) of the stadium has a good range of beers and is a short walk from the ground. I have never seen any trouble in there before.

What's the nearest railway station?
Preston Railway station. About 2 miles from the ground. Taxi will cost about 4 pounds.

Where is the best place to park?
The parking options are not too good around the ground. Probably best to find street parking and be prepared for 10 min walk to the ground.

Soundbites (from assorted Census correspondents)

"One season, a Preston v Watford game will be at 3pm on a Saturday afternoon. Just so you know..."

"Verno Allat the worst player ever to lace up a pair of boots, assuming of course he could do them himself!!"

"Er yeah we are gonna whip your asses this season"

"Pne, better than sex or chocolate!"

"Im Blonde good looking and looking for a Pne supporter! Or Player, even better!!"