Simon Grayson can’t wait to occupy the home dugout for the first time since becoming Preston North End manager.
The opening two games of his reign came on the road at Swindon and MK Dons, but he will take a bow in front of the home faithful when North End host Stevenage on Saturday.
Deepdale isn’t unfamiliar territory to the 43-year-old, with him having previously managed Blackpool, Leeds and Huddersfield against PNE.
And had things turned out differently more than a decade ago, he would have played here as a Preston player too.
Grayson told the Evening Post: “I’m looking forward to us playing at home for the first time since I took over.
“Hopefully there will be a good atmosphere and we can make it an intimidating place for the opposition.
“It will make a nice change not to be the opposition manager at Deepdale, I’ve been here a few times in the past with other clubs.
“As a player, there was a chance of me coming here in 2000 when I was at Blackburn Rovers.
“David Moyes tried to sign me on loan but Graeme Souness wouldn’t let me go which was disappointing.”
This weekend, North End will be hosting a Stevenage side who ended a run of six straight defeats by beating Brentford 1-0 on Tuesday night.
It’s a game which Grayson’s men need a victory from, with the cushion between them and the relegation zone still only four points.
The new PNE boss is likely to rely on the squad he inherited for Saturday’s clash, with him playing something of a waiting game as far as dipping into the loan market is concerned.
Grayson said: “We’ve been out watching games at different levels, assessing what is out there.
“We might get injuries and suspensions which would put us in a position where we have to bring people in.
“There are players out there who we think might be available but nothing will be done before the weekend.”
North End have two players on loan at the moment, goalkeeper Declan Rudd and right-back Paul Connolly.
Rudd, borrowed from Norwich until the end of the season, will be hoping some good performances can help PNE climb the table as well as helping his international chances.
He recently won his first England Under-21 cap and is eligible for this summer’s European Championships.
Former England keeper Ray Clemence who is now the FA’s Head of Development, ran the rule over him at MK Dons last week.
Said Rudd: “Playing for the Under-21s recently was brilliant.
“I’d been involved in a few squads before, so to finally get my chance in the second half against Sweden was a big moment – it’s a great honour to play for your country.
“The Under-21s squad for the European Champions will be announced later in the season.
“If I get a call-up, great, if not, I’ll just continue to work hard. I’m getting some great experience here and enjoying the challenge of first-team football.”
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Weather for Preston
Saturday 18 May 2013
Temperature: 8 C to 11 C
Wind Speed: 22 mph
Wind direction: West
Temperature: 10 C to 17 C
Wind Speed: 16 mph
Wind direction: North west