PNE in Numbers: Things are on the up away from Deepdale
When was the last win away from home, remind me?
Towards the end of last season and at the start of the current campaign, that was often a question posed in the faithful Johnston Press Astra as we embarked on journeys up and down the land following the Lilywhites.
The answer, more often than not, was Burton Albion in January, Tom Clarke’s goal sealing a 1-0 victory in the first game of 2017.
A second ever trip to the Pirelli Stadium this Saturday serves as a reminder that for a time, wins on the road were few and far between for Preston.
That all ended at St Andrew’s back in September as a storming second half comeback saw North End see off Birmingham 3-1 and put an end to Harry Redknapp’s time in charge of the Blues.
Daniel Johnson, Jordan Hugill and Tom Barkhuizen got the goals in a stunning 11-minute spell that delighted the 1,700 travelling fans in the away end.
It ended a run of 14 Championship away games without a victory spanning the end of Simon Grayson’s reign and the start of Alex Neil’s.
It wasn’t a one-off though and was immediately backed up by the 2-1 triumph at Hull City 10 days later as Callum Robinson struck a late winner.
The point at Fulham in the next away game should have been three, Denis Odoi’s 96th-minute goal handing the Cottagers a 2-2 draw after PNE had raced into a two-goal lead.
The 3-2 reverse at Wolves saw Neil’s men run the Championship’s standout club this season close but then all involved admitted that even with an injury-hit backline, the 3-0 defeat at Portman Road against Ipswich wasn’t good enough.
It’s looking up again after the international break however, the 2-1 win at high-flying Bristol City continuing Preston’s hold over the Robins while North End were certainly the better side in the 1-1 draw when Neil returned to Norwich.
Given Burton’s league position at the foot of the division all PNE eyes will be on continuing their strong showing on the road this season in Staffordshire.
In total, it’s three wins, four draws and three defeats for the Lilywhites meaning they’ve picked up 13 of their 29 points in the second tier this season away from home.
It’s four wins and four draws at Deepdale, an area for improvement being those home stalemates against Barnsley, Sunderland, Millwall and Bolton.
For the moment however, all eyes are on another successful away day.