Q&A Special - Preston Fan on Jermaine Beckford

  • June 02, 2015 | By Chris Mann
  • URL Short URL: http://b-ac.es/338bd

After firing Preston North End to promotion last week, a Lilywhites supporter analyses Jermaine Beckford's hugely successful loan spell at Deepdale.

Beckford joined the League One outfit in November and ended the campaign with a record of 18 goals in 31 outings for the club, a statistic which included a hat-trick in a 4-0 victory over Swindon Town in the play-off final at Wembley Stadium.

In our latest edition of Q&A, Preston fan Steven Ward (@WardyPne) shares his opinion on Beckford's reputed attitude problem, his mid-season contemplation of retirement, as well as why the former Leeds United forward is at the top of his summer wish list.

Q: After quickly falling out-of-favour under Neil Lennon, Jermaine Beckford was loaned to Preston in November and ended the campaign with a remarkable record of 18 goals in 31 appearances. How would you sum up his time at Deepdale?

A: He started off slow and seemed to have fitness problems due to a lack of action, but you could see from the first game that he had that bit of quality we were missing to partner Joe Garner. Once he settled into the team and overcame his inner ear problem, he has proved to be a promotion-winning loan signing.

His whole attitude towards the game is what impressed me. I was warned by a fellow Bolton fan that he has a bad attitude but it seems since he has been at PNE, he has had nothing but a positive influence on and off the pitch - something which Craig Davies lacked last season, towards the end of his loan spell.

Q: It took a while for Beckford to really establish himself in the Lilywhites' team, but he bounced back from a mid-season flirtation with retirement by reproducing form not seen since his days at Leeds United. What happened to spark his goal rush from February onwards?

A: He was originally brought in to play with Joe Garner, but when Garner suffered his injury he was left to play up front on his own which he seemed to struggle with at first.

He was also suffering from an inner ear problem which was career threatening and once he overcame that problem and had Joe back along side him, he seemed to flourish and hasn't looked back since - scoring vital goals and providing a memory at Wembley which we will never forget.

Q: Beckford became the first man to score a hat-trick in a League One play-off final as Preston beat Swindon Town to clinch promotion to the Championship. After it was announced he was to be released by Bolton, whose supporters claim found his level in the third-tier, would you like to see him signed to a permanent deal next season?

A: Absolutely. He was unbelievable in the play-offs and his whole attitude towards not only the team, but to the fans, shows how much he enjoyed it here. Some players find that they can perform under a certain manager and Beckford seems to have that relationship with Simon Grayson, who, like in the past, is getting the best out of him again.

If he decides to move to another club then he goes with our best wishes and a huge thank you for what he has done during this time here, but I hope he signs permanently to help us consolidate in the Championship next season.

If it all goes to plan, hopefully you will see Beckford back at Macron Stadium next season in Preston colours for our first Lancashire derby games with Bolton since the play-off final defeat of 2001.

Burnden Aces would like to thank Steven for taking the time to answer our questions. You can read more of his views by following him on Twitter - @WardyPne.

Sky Bet League One Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
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2 Exeter City 2 4
3 Bolton Wanderers 2 4
4 Sheffield Wednesday 2 4
5 Accrington Stanley 2 4
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