Dave Seddon’s press view

Daniel Johnson
Daniel Johnson
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Two things I have learned this week are that Preston North End will not win any popularity contests in Peterborough and it is quite staggering that Jermaine Beckford has scored four goals in five games given his recent health problems.

Starting with Posh’s verdict of their Tuesday night visit to Deepdale, they thought PNE were too physical and a tad on the rough side.

One observer even labelled the Lilywhites as ‘horrible’ so clearly something rankled with our friends from Cambridgeshire.

Horrible? A bit extreme in my book. Streetwise – yes, horrible – no way.

I would never claim that North End are a bunch of shrinking violets...is any professional football team?

But can you describe a side containing Paul Gallagher, Daniel Johnson and Callum Robinson as horrible to watch and play against?

You have got three quality passers of the ball there, a trio who love nothing more than getting the Mitre at their feet and stroking it around.

John Welsh rats for the ball, the defenders behind him compete, basics which any side must do in order to win games.

Not video nasty stuff by any stretch of the imagination, just a strong work ethic.

Peterborough caretaker boss Dave Robertson claimed post-match that three times his strikers were man-handled in the box without the referee pointing to the penalty spot.

A touch of straw-clutching there from the scarf-wearing stand-in, someone who by the way has done an excellent job in his tenure to date.

On the night, Preston were just that bit better than their visitors.

A pretty even first half gave way to a second period which in the main saw PNE on the front foot.

Johnson’s opening goal eight minutes before the interval was a peach of a finish.

The clincher from Beckford in the 81st minute had poacher written all over it.

Three yards out, lurking at the near post, Gallagher’s fine work giving him the opportunity to find the net.

Beckford, as we all know, spent more than five weeks laid low by an inner ear infection.

However, until Thursday morning’s press gathering at Springfields to look ahead to today’s clash with Barnsley, we did not appreciate the severity of the striker’s illness.

Three weeks in bed, unable to even sit up without going dizzy or being sick.

Beckford used the word ‘brutal’ to describe the symptoms and that seems an apt summary.

Every credit that he has got himself in shape to make five appearances in the last three weeks, two of them starts in which he got close to the 90-minute mark.

All the better that against Oldham, Doncaster, Crewe and Posh, he found the net.

It is seven goals in all for the front man on a long-term loan from Bolton Wanderers.

Take into consideration the initial settling-in period and then being laid low, that is a decent tally to say the least.

Linking Beckford up with Joe Garner and Robinson in a front three was an expansive move by Simon Grayson for the last two home games.

All eyes will be on the team sheet at Oakwell today to see if such an attacking policy is adopted away from Deepdale.

I would have no complaints if that trio started against Barnsley, 10 away wins in the league this season showing that Preston are not afraid to take the game to their hosts.

Today is of course Gentry Day, North End’s unique event of remembrance and bowler hat wearing.

It can be quite difficult to explain its origins and significance to those from outside of the city.

After all, it is not every day a football ground has a visit from fans dressed to the nines in suits and hats, the bowlers fusing Patrick Macnee with Mr Benn – supporters will need to be a bit longer in the tooth to know those two!

Amid the fun, beer and dressing-up, I do like how Gentry Day has its sombre side with the remembrance of those fans and ex-players sadly no longer with us.

Many of those beating a path from Lancashire to Yorkshire today will have someone in their thoughts, a relative or friend with who they once shared a trip to matches but sadly no longer.

Finally, all the best in Devon to PNE winger Lee Holmes who joined Exeter on loan at the start of the week.

It probably never quite took off for him here but he can still reflect on 75 appearances in the Preston shirt and six goals.

And of course there was THAT assist, it being Holmes’ free-kick which Tom Clarke headed home to beat Blackpool in August 2013.