PNE in numbers: Slump in form is nothing new

Darren Ferguson was the man in charge when PNE last lost five in a row
Darren Ferguson was the man in charge when PNE last lost five in a row

Preston welcome Bolton to Deepdale after the international break hoping to end their recent slump in form in front of the Sky cameras.

With a defensive injury crisis hitting the North End squad, the Lilywhites have lost their last four games and are without a win in six in the Championship.

The last few weeks have been in stark contrast to such a promising start to life under Alex Neil.

PNE haven’t lost five on the bounce since Darren Ferguson was in charge.

The current Doncaster boss saw his side’s run of defeats in the second tier run from the 1-0 reverse at Sheffield United on August 28, 2010, to the 2-1 Carling Cup loss at Wigan on September 22.

Fergie Jr was soon to be replaced by Phil Brown, who enjoyed a far from smooth start to life in the Deepdale hotseat as North End were ultimately relegated from the Championship.

He oversaw a run of 12 games without victory before winning at the 13th attempt, 3-0 at Scunthorpe on March 15, 2011. It wasn’t the only barren run of the current Southend manager’s time in charge of PNE.

The following season, shortly before he was replaced by Graham Westley, Brown went one better and oversaw a stretch of 13 games without a win between October and November 2011.

Preston lost three games in a row twice in that particularly miserable patch.

Westley was seen as the man to turn things around and we all know how that ended. The outspoken and controversial boss lost six of seven between January and February 2013, the final defeat a 3-1 reverse at Yeovil that spelled the end of his time in charge.

Simon Grayson was drafted in to haul PNE from the lower reaches of League One and the rest, as they say, is history. Before his departure to Sunderland 
the Yorkshireman’s 
more-than four-year spell at the helm did ultimately limp to a conclusion.

At the end of last season, with the play-offs out of reach, Preston lost five of their last six games, four in succession coming in April.

That’s where Neil stands at the moment and he will be hoping that trend ends against Wanderers.

Phil Parkinson’s side come to Deepdale on the up.

Having been bottom for long periods this season, five without defeat and a 2-1 victory over Norwich last time out has hauled them off the foot of the Championship.

Next up, they’ll be eyeing a derby victory with both sides desperate to pick up the three points.