In Numbers: Preston North End are receiving big backing on the road

Preston North End fans have been snapping up tickets for the trip to Coventry, ensuring another large away-day following for Ryan Lowe’s men to play in front of.

By Dave Seddon
Friday, 25th February 2022, 12:30 pm

Upwards of 2,500 will make the trip to the Coventry Building Society Arena, a re-brand of the Ricoh Arena which PNE last visited in September 2014.

There’s room for 2,900 in the away section so with cash turnstiles on the day for those making a late decision to travel, it will end up being one of the biggest Lilywhites’ away followings of the campaign.

North End’s largest away backing was 4,330 for the derby at Blackburn Rovers in December.

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North End were backed by a big away following at Hull earlier this month

That was considerably down on previous visits in recent years, a reflection of the feeling among the fan base at the time.

Just 48 hours later, the 1-0 defeat at Ewood Park cost Frankie McAvoy his job as head coach.

The visit to Hull City three weeks ago saw PNE’s second biggest away following, one which will be surpassed at Coventry.

That day there were 2,412 North Enders in the away end of the MKM Stadium.

The only following which tipped over the 2,000 mark was the 2,180-strong support at Blackpool in October.

That was a sell-out, with the allocation for the Bloomfield Road clash kept to the minimum by the host club.

A couple of weeks after the Blackpool game, 1,917 PNE fans made the trip to Nottingham Forest.

The next highest came back in August for the Carabao Cup clash with Morecambe – 1,774 making the trip up the M6 to the north Lancashire coast.

For Ryan Lowe’s first away game in charge of North End at Stoke on January 3, the following was 1,604.

In the early weeks of the season, 1,205 travelled to Huddersfield, while 1,118 went to Birmingham in September.

More recently there were 1,142 PNE fans at Peterborough and 1,130 at West Bromwich Albion – a very decent number for a midweek trip.

Another following in four figures was the 1,032 at Queens Park Rangers in October – London always a popular away day. North End’s lowest away support came for their longest trip, one made on a Wednesday night.

There were 307 Preston fans at the Vitality Stadium to see the 2-1 victory against Bournemouth on November 3, the Lilywhites popping the Cherries’ unbeaten league record that evening.

PNE’s other away followings have been Mansfield (486), Reading (709), Bristol City (753), Sheffield United (571), Middlesbrough (405), Swansea (354) and Millwall (467).

In terms of the followings brought by away teams to Deepdale, the largest was Liverpool’s 5,334 in the Carabao Cup in October. In the Championship, West Bromwich’s 3,219 was the biggest.

Sheffield United brought 2,510 in January, with Derby followed by 2,448.

This week, Nottingham Forest were backed by 2,308 of their supporters.

There were 1,994 fans from Birmingham, with Hull bringing 1,744 on the opening day of the season.

Stoke’s following for a midweek game was 1,570.

There is potential for a couple more big followings at Deepdale this season.

Blackburn are due on April 23, then Middlesbrough on the last day of the season.

Blackpool will get a 2,000 allocation on April 5.