Exclusive Sean Gregan PNE column

Preston are showing some decent form at home, with the victory over Queens Park Rangers their third at Deepdale on the spin.

By The Newsroom
Sunday, 26th February 2017, 6:00 pm
Updated Wednesday, 1st March 2017, 8:46 am
Daryl Horgan takes on Joel Lynch in Preston's win over QPR
Daryl Horgan takes on Joel Lynch in Preston's win over QPR

That is nine home wins in the league this season which is pretty decent going.

Last year, PNE tended to be stronger away, so finding their form in front of the home fans is important.

With the Championship ever so competitive and with it being a battle to pick up anything on the road, good home form can take you a long way.

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North End have edged up the table on the back of the three home wins against Brentford, Birmingham City and QPR, supported by the draws away at Barnsley and Wigan.

Mind you, just think if they had won either of those two games – they would be in a really strong position.

The gap between them and the play-offs is now down to six points.

If anyone in the top six is going to be caught by the chasing pack, it looks like being Sheffield Wednesday who lost at Leeds.

I’ve said it before, that what North End need to do is concentrate on themselves and not start worrying about the results of others.

We are not quite at that stage of the season yet where you need to be looking for favours from other teams.

Preston could not do any more on Saturday than win their game – they did that and could not affect what others around them did.

It was good to see Aiden McGeady on target with yet another quality goal.

He will be close to filling the top three when it comes to the goal of the season award.

Jordan Hugill scoring the winner was a good way for him to respond to missing the penalty at Wigan.

He was in the right place at the right time to score from close range against QPR and that takes him on to 11 goals for the season.

Something like a penalty miss can help with a player’s strength of character.

If they can bounce back and quickly find the net again, it can make them stronger.

Hugill will have been pleased to be back among the goals and clearly the penalty miss hasn’t seen him go back into his shell.

With this season being the first he has got a long 
run in the side, he is doing well and long may it continue.

A few more from him would help North End push in the right direction.

The big football story this week was Leicester sacking Claudio Rainieri.

What he achieved last season will probably 
never be done again, so you would say his sacking was harsh.

But money is the major player in football nowadays and owners take the view that once in the Premier League, they simply cannot afford to be relegated.

Hull and Swansea seem to have picked up in recent weeks, Crystal Palace won at the weekend, so the pressure is right on Leicester.

Whoever comes in has got a big job to do.