PNE in Numbers: Deepdale disappointments could prove costly

Preston North End's players look dejected after Birmingham's goal in the 1-1 draw at Deepdale.
Preston North End's players look dejected after Birmingham's goal in the 1-1 draw at Deepdale.

In what has largely been a really promising and exciting season under new management the defeat to Ipswich last time out was one of the real low points.

Having said that, a look at results this season suggests that it maybe shouldn’t have come as too much of a surprise to those who witnessed the 1-0 reverse at Deepdale.

Mick McCarthy’s men are symptomatic of those that have posed PNE problems this season.

Hard to break down and physical, they didn’t give North End an inch after Mustapha Carayol gave them a first-half lead.

Alex Neil’s side have drawn the most games in the Championship this season, 15.

That’s two more than Sheffield Wednesday on 13, with Derby, Bristol City, Millwall, Hull and Sunderland having played out 12 stalemates.

Seven of Preston’s draws have come on home soil and have included the games against Birmingham, Nottingham Forest, Sunderland, Millwall, Barnsley and this weekend’s opponents Bolton Wanderers.

The majority of those will not have been taken lightly but will have been earmarked for three points rather than one.

The latest home draw against Wolves will be looked at as a good point on paper but those in the ground know North End were in the ascendancy before John Welsh’s red card.

The defeat to Ipswich means PNE have picked up one more point on the road this season than at home, 26 as opposed to 25.

Overall it’s six wins, seven draws and four defeats at Deepdale and six wins, eight draws and just three defeats away from home.

Neil’s Lilywhites may have drawn the most games in the second tier this campaign but the seven losses is a record only bettered by Wolves and Derby, both right at the sharp end of things.

That solidity will be key on Saturday against a Bolton side who are fighting for their lives at the bottom after promotion from League One last season.

It is of course Gentry Day, that might have been mentioned at some point this week, with around 4,000 fans set to be in the away end.

They will be hoping PNE’s record on their annual act of remembrance is about to improve.

The 11 Gentry Days before the trip to the Macron Stadium have yielded just the two wins, coming the first time it was held at QPR back in February 2005 and on the last trip to Bolton in March 2016.

More scenes like those would be very welcome.