'There was no way' - Bobby Zamora explains how West Ham broke Preston North End hearts in 2005 final

The West Ham United striker broke PNE hearts in the 2005 Championship final
Bobby ZamoraBobby Zamora
Bobby Zamora

Preston North End nemesis Bobby Zamora feels West Ham United were destined to beat the Lilywhites in the 2005 Play-Off final.

The Deepdale outfit have not returned to the Championship final stage since, with that devastating day at the Millennium Stadium the closest Preston have come to reaching the Premier League. Zamora popped up with the 57th minute opener - which proved to be the winner for Alan Pardew's side.

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Billy Davies' team - who had beaten West Ham twice in the regular season and finished fifth in the table - performed poorly on the day. North End would suffer play-off heartache the following season too, in the semi-finals versus Leeds United.

But, the West Ham defeat is the day which sticks in the memory of many supporters. Now, 18-and-a-half years on, Zamora has outlined the approach and mindset which served West Ham so well on the day.

"We were doing well, just in a good space and I'd just come into some form as well," Zamora told the Undr the Cosh podcast. "I think I scored in both legs against Ipswich. I was in a confident space and the team were in a confident space. I think we'd learned from the year before when we lost to Palace.

"That first year, I think we were maybe in suits and the second year, against Preston, we were just in trackies - chilled, calm and relaxed. I actually had a little camcorder, doing a video diary and just ripping into the lads. I think there was no way we'd have lost that game, even if they'd have scored. I think we'd have just gone up a gear.

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"Jimmy Walker played in that and came off, having done his cruciate. (Stephen) Bywater came on and the first thing he had to do was save a free-kick. That first year wasn't going to be us. The second year we were good, we were okay but we weren't all together until the back end of that season - when the play-offs were coming. We all just came together and everyone did their jobs."

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