Return for PNE old boy Lonners

Andy Lonergan

Andy Lonergan

Share this article
2
Have your say

Andrew Lonergan will be a familiar face in the Fulham squad when they face Preston North End at Deepdale.

But whether the goalkeeper gets the chance to play against his former club for the first time since leaving in July 2011, remains to be seen.

For the Cottagers’ last two games, either side of the international break, Marcus Bettinelli has been preferred between the posts.

Until Bettinelli’s return from injury, Lonergan had enjoyed a 19-game unbroken run in the team.

He spent time himself on the sidelines with injury earlier in the season, missing North End’s 1-1 draw at Craven Cottage in November.

Lonergan came through the youth ranks at PNE and made 232 appearances for his home-town club.

After losing his place to Iain Turner at the back end of the 2010/11 season, he had a spell training with Everton who were managed at the time by his former Preston boss David Moyes.

While it was speculated that would lead to a move to the Toffees, Lonergan joined Leeds in July 2011.

North End manager Simon Grayson was Leeds boss at the time.

Said Grayson: “I signed Lonners from Preston.

“He was a good servant for Preston and did well for me at Leeds

“Fulham have gone with Bettinelli in the last couple of games after he has come back from injury.”

After a season with Leeds, Lonergan joined Bolton and spent three years there.

Last summer, a Bosman switch took him to London.

Another current Fulham player who Grayson signed in the past was Ross McCormack – taking him to Leeds from Cardiff in 2010 for £400,000.

McCormack was sold to the Cottagers for £11m two summers ago.

Without his goals, Fulham would be in a lot more trouble than they currently are.

They are one place above the relegation zone despite being the Championship’s second highest scorers with 59 goals – only leaders Burnley have netted more.

Their problems are at the other end of the pitch where they have shipped 65 goals.

McCormack has scored 22 goals this season, 20 of those in the league.

Shouldering the scoring burden with him is Moussa Dembele, the French teenager having netted 15 goals.

His form and potential took him within an ace of a January move to Tottenham.

McCormack and Dembele were both on target in Fulham’s 2-1 win over MK Dons on Saturday.

Fulham have had a change of manager since they met PNE four months ago.

Slavisa Jokanovic, who guided Watford to promotion last season, was appointed on December 27.