Former Preston North End ace Youl Mawene backs Lilywhites to push for Premier League spot

Former Deepdale defender Youl Mawene is backing Preston North End to continue to push for promotion once the season gets back under way.

By Tom Sandells
Monday, 30th March 2020, 5:00 pm
Updated Tuesday, 31st March 2020, 8:27 am

PNE still sit in sixth place in the Championship table with the season on hold.

Mawene – now a fitness coach at League One outfit Fleetwood Town – knows all about play-off campaigns at Deepdale.

The Frenchman was a part of the Preston side that reached the play-off final in 2005, losing 1-0 to West Ham United at the Millennium Stadium.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Youl Mawene enjoyed a successful spell at Deepdale

The former Lilywhites no.5 is not surprised to see PNE near the top end of the table and believes they deserve praise, coming up against clubs with much bigger budgets.

Mawene told the Lancashire Post: “It’s looking good and it’s looked good for a while as well.

“At the start of last season it wasn’t great but even at that time when you’re speaking to people they were confident they were going to get out of it.

“The next thing you know they’d turned everything around and 12 months later they’re in a position to give themselves a right go at promotion.

“We all know about Preston and the play-offs.

“It’s still a long shot when you look at the teams in and around and the budgets, you’re going to think that Preston are obviously doing something right.

“Relatively, Preston are probably spending half, maybe three or four times less than some of them.

“It’s a case of getting over the line. I can only speak from my experience and in my time it was true that we nearly got there, if I had my time again I would probably tweak a few things.

“Having that good group of lads who know what they’re all about and having that little bit of belief and borderline carelessness and arrogance at times, when that is what’s required.

“It’s hard to say it but when you get to the big games you need big players with the big mentality.

“In your head you need to know when you’re going to win and find a way.”

With other sides local to Preston having had their time in the sun, Mawene would love to see his former side in the top flight.

Aside from a season at the pinnancle of the English game, the 40-year-old thinks long-term benefits are the real aim.

He said: “It would be massive for Preston to get there.

“Of the clubs who have managed to do it around my generation I look at Burnley for example, and Burnley then and Burnley now.

“You look at it and think that could have been Preston.

“It is game-changing and we know that, that’s why there’s so much at stake.

“You eventually get there and you might do what West Bromwich Albion have done, where you go up and come back down, you get a bit more momentum behind you and you get promoted again, but this time stay for three or four years.

“You get better money, you get better players, you get better facilities.

“For Preston, the Premier League would be massive, you have the long-suffering fans waiting for it, waiting to get one over on Burnley.

“You’ve got to love that – they try hard and they’ve got to do it for the fans.”

A message from the Editorial Director, Gillian Parkinson:

Thank you for reading this story on our website.

But I also have an urgent plea to make of you.

In order for us to continue to provide high quality local news on this free-to-read site and in print, please purchase a copy of our newspaper as well.

With the coronavirus lockdown having a major impact on our town centres and many of our valued advertisers - and consequently the advertising that we receive - we are more reliant than ever on you buying a copy when you pop out for your essential shop or subscribing for delivery.

Our journalists are highly trained by the National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ) and our content is independently regulated by IPSO to some of the most rigorous standards anywhere in the world. Our content is universally trusted - as all independent research proves.

As Baroness Barran said in a House of Lords debate this week on the importance of journalists: “Not only are they a trusted source of facts, but they will have a role to play in rallying communities and getting the message across about how we can keep ourselves and our families safe, and protect our NHS. Undoubtedly, they have a critical role.”

But being your eyes and ears comes at a price. So we need your support more than ever to buy our newspapers during this crisis. In return we will continue to forensically cover the local news - not only the impact of the virus but all the positive and uplifting news happening in these dark days.

We thank all our readers and advertisers for their understanding and support - and we wish YOU all the best in the coming weeks. Keep safe, and follow the Government advice. Thank you.


You can subscribe for delivery by contacting us at [email protected] or calling us on 0330 4033004 for details of a participating newsagent near you.