Exclusive Sean Gregan PNE column

I suspected that Preston might hit something of a brick wall in their game against Wolves, with it being the first game in charge for their head coach Paul Lambert.
PNE skipper Tom Clarke shows his frustration against WolvesPNE skipper Tom Clarke shows his frustration against Wolves
PNE skipper Tom Clarke shows his frustration against Wolves

Your first job as a new coach or manager is to stop the run of results which led to your predecessor getting the sack.

Lambert had obviously seen Wolves being open and nice to play against, so made changes to allow them to be a lot more solid. It worked and they took a point from the trip to Deepdale. That said, North End had two good chances to win it late on.

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Jordan Hugill’s chance right at the end was the best, one on one with the keeper.

It looked to me like Hugill almost had too much time.

When you have got time to take a touch and think about where to put the shot, that puts you in two minds. Do 
you dink it or blast it, go high or low?

In the end, Hugill lifted it over the keeper – and over the bar unfortunately.

That was a shame because the lad has been playing well and scoring goals of late.

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I see the Wolves keeper was my old North End team-mate Andrew Lonergan.

It was his first time back playing at Deepdale despite it being more than five years since he left.

I remember Lonners’ first couple of games for Preston.

He was only 16 when he made his debut in a League Cup game at Coventry.

Then later that season, an injury in the warm-up to David Lucas saw Lonners get the nod to play in a Sunday televised game against Watford.

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He was just a skinny young kid then and we did our best to protect him on a windy day.

We did our job because we won 3-2.

It was good to see North End do some early transfer business with the agreement to sign Tom Barkhuizen.

The lower leagues can be a good market for any club and for Preston in particular with their realistic budget, why not have a look at what is there.

They are not going to be in for the same players as teams like Newcastle, Aston Villa, Norwich and Brighton are.

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From what I hear, the lad Barkhuizen has plenty of pace and is very direct.

He cannot play until the new year when the transfer window opens but he can use the next few weeks to get to know the club and his new team-mates.

I always like to see players from the lower divisions given their chance.

It was where I started at Darlington and I went on to play in the Premier League.

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The big story of the week in football – and one which has been totally blown out of all proportion – is Wayne Rooney being photographed drinking at a wedding after England’s win over Scotland.

To me, it is looking more and more like a witch-hunt against the England skipper.

Several other of the squad went out to a nightclub by all accounts. Yet all the focus has been on Rooney, who didn’t leave the team hotel.

Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

Had Rooney not had his picture taken at the wedding, the story would have been that he was a killjoy and out of touch with the public.

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He had his photo taken and someone at the wedding or in the hotel, went straight to the papers to sell a story.

All I can is that it is a good job that camera phones and social media were not around when I was a player!

Footballers just have to be sensible nowadays, do their socialising away from the public eye or away from the town or city where they play, just to avoid controversy.