Sean Gregan’s exclusive column

Preston North End's Alan Browne in action against Reading
Preston North End's Alan Browne in action against Reading
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Preston’s victory at Reading was a great result in their final away game.

They have won eight matches on the road which is pretty decent going for a club new to the division.

I suppose the first half was the same old story of creating chances but not taking them.

The Reading keeper Ali Al Habsi had a very good game and thankfully, North End found a way past him with goals from Jermaine Beckford and Daniel Johnson during the second half.

I wrote the other week that Beckford probably won’t want this season to end, bearing in mind he has just got himself fit after knee surgery.

He has scored a couple of goals now and will be getting into a groove.

If he keeps himself ticking over during the summer and gets a good pre-season under his belt, he will be like a new signing.

Even though he is 32 now, Beckford will score goals in the Championship.

The two he has got since returning from knee surgery, even with a layer of rust on him, shows that his instinct has not gone away.

Beckford has scored goals at all levels, including in his spell at Everton in the Premier League.

Okay, he was not prolific that season, but still managed eight goals in the top flight and a couple in cup games.

It is just a shame that he has missed so much of this season.

We can only guess if North End would have been higher had he been fit but I’m sure they would have been.

Saying that, to be 11th in the table with one game to play and having been without your goalscorer for many months, is pretty good going.

Credit to the players and Simon Grayson, this has been an excellent season.

Hopefully, they can finish things off with a win against Leeds next week and go a bit higher in the table.

What Saturday’s win again showed is that Preston’s minds are not on the beach yet.

They gave Burnley a good game last week and the game before that, came back from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 against Birmingham.

At Reading, having let in a late equaliser, they showed the spirit and character to hit back and score in stoppage-time through Johnson.

DJ is the leading scorer this season with nine goals, that a good return from midfield.

The last game of the season is an interesting one for me, with it being between two of the clubs I played for.

I signed for Leeds from West Bromwich Albion in September 2004, shortly after they had been relegated from the Premier League.

It was a difficult period to the honest, emotions were still raw among the supporters after relegation.

While quite a few of the lads were new and had not been at the club in the Premier League, we still got quite a bit of stick about being relegated.

The following season, Leeds got to within 90 minutes of a return to the Premier League – there was the semi-final play-off against North End.

They have probably not been as high in the table since then and it is not the most stable of clubs with the owner liking to change head coach plenty of times in a season.

I’m sure Simon Grayson will be very keen to beat Leeds because of his connections.

He supported them and then started his playing career there.

Grayson then returned to manage Leeds a few years ago and did well there – he was very unfortunate to be sacked by them.