Big match focus: PNE v Reading

Royals manager Jaap Stam

Royals manager Jaap Stam

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MEET THE BOSS: Jaap Stam

The former Manchester United centre-half took the Reading job in June and his first competitive game in charge was the 1-0 win over North End in August.

He has turned the Royals into play-off contenders, with them coming to Deepdale in fifth place. Stam, 44, worked as an assistant coach in Holland with FC Zwolle and Ajax before his switch to the Madejski Stadium. He won three Premier League titles with United and the Champions League. He also played for Lazio and AC Milan.

MEET THE REF: Scott Duncan

It is a second visit to Deepdale and a third game in charge of Preston this season for the Northumberland referee. It was Mr Duncan who sent off PNE team-mates Jermaine Beckford and Eoin Doyle for fighting in December’s 2-1 defeat to Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough. They were among nine red cards he has shown this season. Mr Duncan was also in charge of North End’s 2-0 win over Oldham Athletic in the EFL Cup in August.

THIS WEEK...

60 years ago: On March 9, 1956, Preston North End beat Charlton 4-3 at Deepdale. Tommy Thompson netted twice with Tom Finney and 
Les Dagger also on target. Earlier in the season, PNE had beaten the Addicks by the same scoreline at The Valley.

46 years ago: The Lilywhites beat Bury 2-0 at Deepdale on March 8, 1971, that part of an unbeaten home record on their way to the Third Division title under Alan Ball Snr. Alan Spavin and Clive Clark scored.

37 years ago: On March 11, 1980, North End drew 3-3 with Bristol Rovers at the Eastville Stadium. Mick Baxter, Paul McGee and an own goal helped them take a point.

33 years ago: A goal from Joe Hinnigan gave PNE a 1-0 win over Rotherham on March 10, 1984.