Big match focus: PNE v Cottagers

Slavisa Jokanovic
Slavisa Jokanovic

Dave Seddon gives the run-down on North End’s opponents, the referee and events in history for PNE down the years.

MEET THE BOSS: Slavisa Jokanovic

The Serbian has been in the Fulham hotseat more than two years and is regarded as one of the Championship’s top coaches. After his arrival, Jokanovic helped guide the Cottagers out of relegation danger. Last season, he took Fulham to the play-offs where they fell at the semi-final stage. This campaign, the 49-year-old has overseen a charge into the promotion picture following a slow start to the season. This is his seventh job in management, with him guiding Watford to the Premier League in 2015.

MEET THE REF: Simon Hooper

For the second time in a month, the Wiltshire official will be in charge of a Preston game. Mr Hooper was in the middle for February’s 1-1 draw at Brentford when he sent off Greg Cunningham for two bookings in the space of 90 seconds. This season, he also refereed North End’s 0-0 draw with Bolton at Deepdale in November. Last season, Mr Hooper officiated four PNE games, including the visit to Fulham which was 2017’s Gentry Day.

THIS WEEK

61 years ago: On March 9, 1957, Preston beat Charlton 4-3 at Deepdale. Tommy Thompson (2), Tom Finney and Les Dagger were on target. It completed a league double over the Addicks after PNE had won by the same scoreline three months earlier at The Valley.

42 years ago: North End won 3-1 against Chestrefield at Deepdale on March 9, 1976. Alex Bruce scored twice and Mike Elwiss got the other for Harry Catterick’s side.

34 years ago: Preston beat Lancashire rivals Burnley 4-2 on March 6, 1984. John Kelly, Joe Hinngan, Steve Elliott and Peter Houghton found the net.

23 years ago: David Beckham was among the scorers as PNE won 3-2 against Fulham in March 1995. Mike Conroy and Paul Raynor also scored.