German defender Patrick Bauer makes quick return to capital with Preston North End

Preston centre-half Patrick Bauer heads clear under pressure from Newcastle's Rolando Aarons
Preston centre-half Patrick Bauer heads clear under pressure from Newcastle's Rolando Aarons

New boy Patrick Bauer hopes his early return to London can see Preston get the season off to a flying start.

Bauer spent four seasons with Charlton Athletic before making a Bosman switch to Deepdale this summer.

North End start the season against Millwall on Saturday at The Den – a ground just four miles from his former club.

So that adds a little bit of extra spice to the occasion for the big German defender.

Bauer told the Lancashire Post: “Millwall are the biggest rival of Charlton so this is a very good game for me.

“To go there and get three points would be a great way to start the season.

“The pre-season has been really good, we have played a lot of games to get ready.

“It’s been a long one so we are looking forward to getting the season started. I’ve settled in very easily here – before I signed I spoke to ex-players and people in the game who said what a good club it was to join.

“From day one the lads made it very easy for me here, they are brilliant boys.

“I’m settled on and off the pitch and I just want to get the season started now.”

Bauer, 26, featured in most of PNE’s pre-season friendlies but Saturday’s 2-1 victory over Newcastle was his Deepdale bow.

It was an eventful time in the rain for the centre-half, who gave away a penalty for a foul on Toon’s record £40m signing Joelinton.

He was then fouled in the opposite box by the Brazilian to earn Preston their second penalty of the contest.

North End boss Alex Neil started Bauer and Ben Davies together, a strong hint that will be the pairing used on the opening day at Millwall.

Said Bauer: “Newcastle was a good test, they had a strong side and I thought we did very well coming back from 1-0 down to win the game 2-1.

“Unfortunately I gave away the penalty but Declan Rudd did well to save it.

“I was fouled for our second penalty by their striker so that evened things out.

“We looked solid in the game and it was not just down to the defence, as a team we worked really well to keep Newcastle out.

“That was a good sign and hopefully we can carry that into the new season.

“This week in training we will prepare specifically to play Millwall with some sharp sessions and some technical sessions.”

Away from football Bauer has got his family settled in the area – he became a dad during Charlton’s play-off campaign in May.

“I’ve lived for seven or eight years away from Germany and I’m used to moving,” he said.

“When I first started here my family were still in London but now we have a house and they are up here.”