PNE derby clash excites Sky Sports' Goodman

Sky Sports commentator Don Goodman is looking forward to casting his eye over Preston North End's derby clash with Blackburn Rovers.

Thursday, 8th December 2016, 10:25 am
Updated Wednesday, 14th December 2016, 1:37 pm
PNE boss Simon Grayson has impressed Don Goodman

The former Wolves and West Bromwich striker will be behind the microphone at Deepdale for the televised game on Saturday teatime.

He expects an intense battle between the Lancashire rivals, a game in which PNE will be seeking to give their form a boost after two draws and last week’s defeat at Sheffield Wednesday.

Rovers make the short trip having won two and drawn one of their last three games, including a 1-0 victory at league leaders Newcastle.

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Goodman told the Evening Post: “With the clubs only being a few miles apart, you would expect there to be passion and intensity.

“Preston have done well this season after a shaky first month, while Blackburn seem to be improving and have had some good results of late.

“I’m assuming that there will be a decent crowd and hopefully there will be some good football played.

“Both teams have players who can be a big influence on a game.

“I’ve always liked what I’ve seen from Daniel Johnson since Preston signed him from Aston Villa for a bargain fee.

“Johnson can make things happen from midfield.

“Paul Gallagher is a key player too, he has plenty of experience and creativity.”

Goodman likes the job Simon Grayson has done at Deepdale and rates him highly.

Grayson is not too far off his fourth anniversary of being appointed North End manager.

Said Goodman: “Simon is a very under-rated manager, he maybe doesn’t get the credit which his career has deserved.

“Wherever he has been, Simon has got his sides very organised and makes them hard to beat.

“If you put Simon’s CV on the table, it’s impressive.

“What he’s done at Preston has been excellent.

“He got them promoted and then they finished 11th in the Championship last season which for a newly-promoted side was a great achievement.

“Football is about progress, if you continue to progress eventually you get success.

“I would think Preston’s aim is to keep pushing up the table and try to be in around the play-offs.

“In the other dug out, Owen Coyle has come back to this country after Blackburn gave him this opportunity.

“He had success at Burnley, taking them into the Premier League, then went to Bolton.

“Blackburn is a different challenge.

“They had a terrible start but didn’t press the panic button.

“The result which really stands out for them recently was the win over Newcastle at St James’ Park, no one saw that coming.

“That will have given them plenty of confidence as they go into a busy spell of matches.”

Sky Sports will show 10 games from the EFL in 10 days from Friday.

The first game is Brighton’s clash with Leeds at the Amex Stadium, with Nottingham Forest’s visit to Derby taking place on Sunday.

Said Goodman: “Out of the 10 games, I’ll be commentating on three or three of them.

“Hopefully we’ll see a lot of good football.”