Big match focus: PNE v Leeds

Garry Monk

Garry Monk

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MEET THE BOSS: Garry Monk

Considered one of the brightest young coaches in the game, the 37-year-old was a Swansea City legend as a player before replacing Michael Laudrup to become manager.

After avoiding relegation as interim boss his first full season in permanent charge saw the Swans finish eighth in the Premier League. One win in 11 saw him sacked in December 2015. Took over at Elland Road after the departure of Steve Evans in the summer.

MEET THE REF: Jeremy Simpson

Carnforth referee also took charge of the 3-1 win over Huddersfield at Deepdale back in October. The North Lancashire official dished out three yellow cards on the night as PNE picked up an impressive victory. The former high school teacher is part of the new 18-strong Select Group 2 of officials who are taking charge of Championship games this season. Simpson is a former international assistant referee.

THIS WEEK...

Five years ago: Preston North End played out a 3-3 Boxing Day draw with Carlisle United, Jamie Douglas rescuing a draw in stoppage time after a festive thriller. Iain Hume and Paul Parry were also on target for the Lilywhites.

10 years ago: Another game involving six goals saw 10-man Preston go down 4-2 at West Brom. Graham Alexander scored from the spot, with David Nugent also on target but Danny Dichio was sent off for using an elbow. Nathan Ellington’s double ensured the Baggies took the points.

20 years ago: There was no Boxing Day game for North End on their return to Division Two in the 1996-1997 season. The closest game to Christmas saw them lose 2-0 to Bristol City on December 28. The side included 
LEP columnist Sean Gregan, Lee Ashcroft and Kevin Kilbane.