Cottagers Confidential: Preston North End currently sit 9th in the table. Both Fulham and Norwich sit above you and have better goal differentials. The advanced stats say you have performed exactly how you should. Given all that, do you still hold out hope for making the playoffs? What are the goals for the rest of the season?
Lilywhite Magic: The play-offs are mathematically not out of the equation but being realistic and entirely honest, I think they’re out of our reach. We’d need yourselves, Sheff Wed and Norwich to drop a good number of points and I just can’t see that happening.
Having said that, it doesn’t mean our season has finished already – the aim should be to keep on winning, see where it takes us and hope the impossible happens!
CC: Preston have an average defense and an average offense so far this season. What exactly is the club's identity this year?
LM: Despite the ‘average’ number of goals, we actually have been a lot more attacking minded this season and we’ve seen some very good football at times. However, our ‘goals for’ tally should be much higher – a common occurrence with ourselves is we miss a lot of very good chances. We lack a killer instinct and cutting edge up front at times which has been frustrating and this is what holds us back.
Having said that, there has been a few games that have been awful as the opposition ‘snuffed us outta’ (the Burton and Wigan away games to name two) although this still resulted in 4 points.
CC: If you were going to build a team to beat Preston, what would that team look like?
LM: I think if Fulham were to beat us, and this is stating the obvious, they would need to snuff out out attacking threat. There’s a number of sources for this although it’s fair to say McGeady is one of them.
Fulham would be shooting themselves in the foot if they were to commit too many men forward as due to the likes of McGeady, Robinson and Horgan, we could simply break away on the counter. Whether we would finish the chance/s is another matter though!
So overall, if I were to build a team to beat Preston, the main aim would be to make sure the above players in particular are marked properly.
CC: Predicted lineup and score?
LM: Score prediction: 2-2
Maxwell, Cunningham, Clarke, Huntington, Spurr, Horgan, Johnson, Browne, McGeady, Robinson, Hugill.