PNE ace was giantkiller against United

Neil Kilkenny in action for Leeds against Manchester United in January 2010
Neil Kilkenny in action for Leeds against Manchester United in January 2010
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Neil Kilkenny has already helped cause an FA Cup shock against Manchester United and now wants to do it a second time with Preston North End.

The midfielder was in the Leeds team which beat United 1-0 at Old Trafford five years ago, the winner that day scored by Jermaine Beckford, who is now a Deepdale team-mate.

PNE’s 3-1 win over Sheffield United set up the fifth-round clash with the Red Devils a week on Monday.

Casting his mind back to January 3, 2010, Kilkenny said: “We went to Old Trafford and no one really expected us to do much.

“We were confident going into the game.Simon Grayson was the Leeds manager and he let us show what we could do.

“There were 8,000 Leeds fans there that day in a crowd of 75,000.

“It was a massive cup upset and we it will be something we are aiming to do here at Preston.

“Deepdale will be full and we are looking forward to it.

“Hopefully we can play with the same guts we did in the Sheffield United replay 
on Tuesday night.”

The win over Nigel Clough’s Blades which set up the tie with United was richly deserved, in Kilkenny’s eyes.

After going behind against the run of play, North End roared back with three goals in 10 minutes, Paul Gallagher twice finding the net either side of a header from Paul Huntington.

Gallagher drove in a free-kick for the equaliser, Huntington then putting them in front.

Victory was sealed from the penalty spot, Gallagher drilling home after Chris Humphrey had been fouled.

Said Kilkenny: “The free-kick from Gally was superb – we all know what good technique he has.

“I’m really pleased for him because he’s also my room-mate and we get on really well off the pitch as well as on it.

“We played really well and did not panic when we came in 1-0 down at half-time.

“Once we got the equaliser we grew in confidence.

“I thought we showed a lot of guts to get on the ball and pass the ball – I like to play that way and want the ball.”

The victory was Preston’s first since beating Norwich in the third round on January 3, the intervening period seeing PNE boss Grayson come in for stick from some supporters.

Kilkenny said: “I cannot understand the criticism of the manager after what he has done here. His record speaks for itself.

“He is a good manager and a great person as well.

“All the lads know what he is about and will back him to the hilt.

“He has got a bit of stick with recent results but it is not his fault – we as players have to look at ourselves too.”

This is the first time North End have reached the fifth round since 2008.