Q&A With Preston North End

  • March 02, 2018 | By Chris Mann
  • URL Short URL: http://b-ac.es/e88df

Sammy Ameobi is capable of playing in the Premier League, so Bolton must continue to utilise him correctly if they are to remain in the Championship.

Those are the views of Preston North End supporter Steve Ward (@WardyPne), who spoke to us ahead of their Sky Bet Championship trip to Macron Stadium on Saturday.

In the following Q&A interview, Steve shares his views on the Lilywhites' promotion prospects, the 'devastating' potential of Ameobi, as well as Wanderers' pricing structure which has forced many North End fans to boycott a game in which they will remember those who have passed away.

Q: Last week, we interviewed a Norwich City supporter who agreed last summer was the correct time for Alex Neil to leave Carrow Road. With Preston just three points shy of the play-offs, how have North End fans taken to their manager?

A: He's been fantastic for us. When Simon Grayson left us in the summer there was a bit of uncertainty about how we would do, but he's come in and has, so far, took us up a level in the way we play.

Under Grayson we were a defence-minded team but Neil has tried to change to a more possession-based style.

To be on the edge of the play-offs for a club of our size, in this league where money is being thrown about like never before, is a great success.

Q: With just 12 games of the campaign left to play, does the Lilywhites squad have what it takes to improve on back-to-back 11th-placed finishes and secure a place in the top-six?

A: Our home form is the main issue that's holding us back from breaking into the top-six - our away form has been fantastic.

Personally, I think we will miss out on the play-offs but if we can keep the team together and add to it I really do think next season we could seriously challenge again for the top-six.

Q: Tom Barkhuizen and Jordan Hugill have hit the headlines with their goalscoring exploits this season, but who else should Wanderers fans be looking out for?

A: Since Jordan Hugill has left we have tried a couple of different options up front - we signed Billy Bodin from Bristol Rovers and Louis Moult from Motherwell earlier in the transfer window and both are still finding their feet at the club.

Players to watch out for are Ben Pearson and Alan Browne in central midfield. The two of them seem to be really developing a great partnership.

Q: On the flip side, with leading goalscorer Gary Madine no longer a Trotters player - who should the Preston backroom staff be keeping a close eye on?

A: Just like the Jordan Hugill deal for us, the money that Cardiff offered for Madine was too good to turn down.

However, one player that we should keep a close eye on is Sammy Ameobi. I really think he is a player that should be at the top level but for whatever reason he's not quite made it yet. On his day he is a devastating player, as was shown in your recent game with Bristol City.

Zach Clough is another player who always seems to impress me.

Q: Bolton have recovered from a disastrous start, which saw them pick up just two points from their opening 11 games, and will begin the weekend four points clear of the drop zone. What have you made of the job Phil Parkinson has done at Macron Stadium and does he have enough at his disposal to keep us in the division?

A: He's done an incredible job at Bolton. Despite everything that has gone on behind the scenes, he got you promoted at first attempt and has put you in a really good position to stay up.

Your recent form has been quite good, so it looks like you have kicked on at the right time.

Q: Finally, what is your score prediction for Saturday's game?

A: It's Gentry day for us. Over 3,000 will be making the short trip which should have been a sell-out away following from us, but a lot of fans have decided against it and some even openly boycotting it due to the ridiculous pricing which sees our fans paying £11 more in the upper tier than what we charged you at Deepdale.

Apart from that I'm hoping our recent away form continues and we can give those we're remembering something to celebrate.

It will be a tough game but I'm hoping for a Preston win - 2-1.

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Sky Bet League One Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
19 Rochdale 34 36
20 AFC Wimbledon 35 35
21 Tranmere Rovers 34 32
22 Southend United 35 19
23 Bolton Wanderers 34 14
View Full Standings >>

Poll

Who is Bolton's 2018/19 Player of the Year?
34.62% Gary O'Neil
19.38% David Wheater
18.92% Pawel Olkowski
9.27% Joe Williams
5.33% Jason Lowe
4.13% Sammy Ameobi
2.85% Josh Magennis
2.75% Mark Beevers
1.19% Jack Hobbs
1.01% Ben Alnwick
0.28% Andrew Taylor
0.28% Craig Noone