FA Cup exit to Wanderers was a tipping point for Preston North End boss Alex Neil

A trip to Adams Park will bring back bad memories for some members of the PNE squad but they have a chance to put it right.

Friday, 12th March 2021, 12:30 pm
Updated Friday, 12th March 2021, 3:32 pm

Fans who watched their most recent outing at the home of Wycombe Wanderers a 4-1 drubbing in the FA Cup, will also want to be able to put that swiftly behind them.

Saturday’s game is an opportunity to do just that but beating the Chairboys will be no easy task, despite them being rooted to the bottom of the Championship table.

It was a much-changed PNE side to one we had seen so far this season up until that point, and will again be much changed again tomorrow.

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North End’s Jayson Molumby breaks away from Wycombe’s Admiral Muskwe in January’s FA Cup tie

That FA Cup tie, however, was an opportunity for the players who had not featured regularly and it shaped Alex Neil’s view moving forward.

He said: “That was a game and defeat that was disappointing to say the least.

“I felt there were a few guys that day that didn’t do themselves justice, some of whom are now somewhere else playing to get minutes.

“If you can’t do it in those kinds of matches then it’s certainly going to be problematic for us in terms of what we’re trying to do moving forwards.”

Fans will know what Gareth Ainsworth’s men will want to do tomorrow afternoon – their style one that is very direct and relies very little on having the ball.

Their physical approach proved effective the last time the two sides met at Adams Park and even if they do not have much possession, Neil knows they are a side that you have to be wary of.

“It’s not hard to know what’s coming from Wycombe,” he said.

“The simple fact is that Wycombe are dangerous in every game.

“I’ve watched them against Stoke City and QPR and in every game I’ve watched, they get opportunities and chances.

“They always get a chance, a spare ball drops to them or someone produces a cross. In terms of converting them they haven’t done as well as they would have liked and that’s why they’ll find themselves where they are.”

It will be another meeting with former Lilywhite Daryl Horgan tomorrow, who set up one of his side’s goals in the reverse league fixture.

He, alongside Fred Onyedinma, are the chief creative threats for Ainsworth’s men. They often look to feed crosses towards the forwards who know how to throw their weight around, Uche Ikpeazu, Adebayo Akinfenwa and Admiral Muskwe the normal go-to men.

It will be a game where the PNE defence are tested in the air and with their strength, rather than by threatening runs in behind.

Wycombe also have the added motivation of creating an unlikely comeback story, as they sit 12 points from safety.

They are a team fighting for their lives in this division and every point will be absolutely priceless to them.

Wycombe have the second-worst home record in the league – two wins worse off than PNE, who are 21st in those standings.