Dave Seddon’s press view

Tom Clarke keeps a close eye on Stewart Downing during the opening match of the season last Sunday
Tom Clarke keeps a close eye on Stewart Downing during the opening match of the season last Sunday
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AS first weeks of the season go, I think Preston North End will have been happy enough with their opening to the 2015/16 campaign.

It started with a solid goalless draw against a Middlesbrough side who some feared would roll up at Deepdale and resemble Bayern Munich.

Then there was the Capital One Cup victory at Crewe which in parts was routine, in others hard work.

Between those two games, in came Chris Kirkland to add his considerable experience to the goalkeeping department.

All in all, a steady first few days to life back in the second tier and one which I’m sure many of us would have taken had we been offered it before.

So what have we learned from the week just gone?

We know that if North End keep their shape and discipline in games, they have the ability to shut teams out.

Key to doing that will be John Welsh judging by his excellent performance in smothering Stewart Downing’s effectiveness last Sunday.

When Downing got back to Teesside that evening and put his feet up, he probably half expected to find Welsh sat next to him on the settee.

After all, midfielder Welsh had been constant company for him all afternoon.

The Scouser thrived in the marking role he was given by Simon Grayson.

Accustomed to playing in that deep midfield role anyway, Welsh had the additional challenge of keeping Downing quiet.

Here was an opponent whose £5.5m transfer fee is probably not far off the annual wage bill for a few of the teams in the Championship.

Downing will have better days than he did at Deepdale, the guy has talent and would still be playing in the Premier League with West Ham if it had been any other club than home-town club Boro who came calling.

So every credit to Welsh for severely limiting that threat and no doubt he will be asked to perform similar jobs on other play makers this season.

Others things we have learned so far?

Greg Cunningham could turn out to be one of those very good under-the-radar signings if his first two appearances are anything to go by.

He grew into the Boro game and was particularly assured in his play in the second half.

Cunningham then carried that into the Crewe game and certainly looks to have a very decent left foot on him.

On the other side of the pitch, Marnick Vermijl is still finding his feet but remember, was signed almost a fortnight later than Cunningham.

Will Keane caught my eye with his movement in both games, in particular at Crewe.

He knows how to create a bit of space for himself and it will have done him good to get off the mark in midweek.

In these first two games, he has played up the middle, with Joe Garner last Sunday, then feeding off Jordan Hugill against Crewe.

When Jermaine Beckford returns from injury, you suspect a slightly deeper or wider role awaits Keane.

Another thing which Simon Grayson will have learned from this first week is that climbing to the top of Crewe’s main stand is not good for a manager’s health!

Grayson agreed to do his post-match media duties in the press box, enabling Radio Lancashire to broadcast it live at the end of their commentary programme.

Perhaps he had not been made aware that the Gresty Road press box is on the back row of the main stand which is steep to say the least.

I’m not saying it’s high but in winter, Gurkha guides are on hand to steer journalists to their seats!

A topic which attracted plenty of comment a week ago was the debut of Channel 5’s Football League Tonight highlights show.

It wasn’t good was it? But let’s give it a chance – Rome wasn’t built in a day.

Channel 5 need applauding for giving the programme its 9pm billing.

Countless times I waited up to watch the Football League Show on the Beeb, only to nod off during the Championship highlights.

North End’s goals came and went while I was in the land in nod, with me waking up just as Dagenham and Redbridge were seeing off Oxford.

Ditch the studio audience Channel 5 and concentrate on the action. Do that and you will satisfy the majority of fans.

The BBC version drove us mad with upteen shots of team buses arriving and the aimless punditry of Steve Claridge.

Fans of Football League clubs don’t need gimmicks to be entertained.

Show us the goals, a bit of action and the rating figures will be decent.