David Nugent makes pledge after signing for Preston North End

David Nugent says a sense of unfinished business played a major part in his decision to come back to Preston.

Thursday, 18th July 2019, 6:00 am
Updated Thursday, 18th July 2019, 7:00 am
David Nugent in the Deepdale dressing room after signing for Preston (photo: PNE)

The 34-year-old striker will officially become a North End player again on August 1.

It is 12 years since Nugent left Deepdale in what was for a long time a club-record £6m sale to Portsmouth.

That move gave him the chance to play Premier League football, something which had twice eluded him at PNE.

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He was in the North End side which lost 1-0 to West Ham in 2005 play-off final, then the following year they lost to Leeds in the semi-final.

It was in 2007 that he left, in that time gaining plenty of experience in the top flight and also the upper reaches of the Championship table.

“I think there is a feeling of unfinished business,” Nugent told PNE’s official website. “I left on good terms, I think it was the best deal for myself and the club at the time.

“I’d just made my England debut and needed to further my career.

“Portsmouth gave me my chance to do that. Maybe it did not go to plan but you learn from mistakes.

“I left Portsmouth to go to Leicester, got promoted there and had my best years.

“I’ve been involved in a lot of promotions and play-offs and hopefully I can bring that experience to Preston, help the lads.

“There is every chance that we will be challenging.”

Nugent joins on a Bosman, having been released at the start of June by Derby.

His first few weeks back at Preston will be spent with the physio as he recovers from a knee injury sustained in the play-off semi-final.

He hopes to be back playing in August, although will have to fit in the pre-season work he has yet to do.

The talks to bring Nugent back only really gathered pace at the beginning of last week.

He watched PNE’s win at AFC Fylde last Saturday in the company of North End owner Trevor Hemmings.

It was widely expected that the deal would be completed then, however the paperwork was only finalised yesterday when his agent returned from holiday.

Derby had to be contacted too as Nugent is being paid by them until the end of July.

At 34, Nugent is the oldest player signed by North End since Kevin Davies in 2013.

Davies was 36 at the time and spent two seasons with the club.

PNE have not said how long Nugent’s contract is, only that it will start on August 1.

With regards to his injury, Nugent said: “I have been working hard all summer.

“I came back early from my holiday because I knew I had to get a club.

“The physio thinks I’m a few weeks behind the lads so I’m going to work hard.”