It’s Ricoh time for PNE

Coventry are back playing at the Ricoh Arena
Coventry are back playing at the Ricoh Arena
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The idea of being sent to Coventry might actually appeal to Preston North End this weekend.

Earlier this month, Coventry City moved home to the Ricoh Arena after just over a season lodging at Northampton Town’s Sixfields Stadium.

PNE’s visit down the M6 on Saturday will be the Sky Blues’ third game back on home turf.

So far they have found being back at the Ricoh to their liking, beating Gillingham 1-0 in front of a bumper 27,306 crowd and then seeing off Yeovil 2-1.

The attendance for that one dropped down to 11,085 although that still dwarfs the 2,000-or-so crowds which watched them at Sixfields.

It was no surprise that crowds slumped during their time in Northampton – it is 35 miles away, for starters.

The majority of Coventry fans boycotted the ‘home’ games in favour of spending their cash on away matches.

The club had relocated due to a row with the landlords of the Ricoh Arena.

North End’s track record at the Ricoh is pretty decent, with eight visits there yielding three wins, three draws and two defeats.

Their first trip came in the season it opened – 2005/06 – with a Simon Whaley goal giving them a 1-0 victory.

A year later, PNE romped to a 4-0 win thanks to goals from Chris Sedgwick, David Nugent and Brett Ormerod (2).

In September 2007, 
they were beaten 2-1 after leading until the last 10 minutes through Patrick Agyemang.

The sides drew 0-0 in 2008/09 and then 1-1 the next season, Callum Davidson netting from the penalty spot.

In September 2010, goals from Billy Jones and Iain Hume gave Preston a 2-1 win.

Two seasons ago they visited twice in less than a month. Lee Holmes netted their equaliser in a 1-1 draw in the league.

Then Coventry beat them 3-2 in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy, PNE having led 2-1 going into stoppage time through Luke Foster and Stuart Beavon goals.

Last season’s meeting at Sixfields was an incredible 4-4 draw. It was a game which had many twists and turns, not least in stoppage time when both teams found the net.

Coventry are a point and three places below North End in the League One table ahead of Saturday’s clash.

Sky Blues manager Steven Pressley should have Josh McQuoid available after the striker was forced to sit out two games because of concussion.

The hosts will be looking to bounce back to form after successive away defeats to Scunthorpe and Rochdale.