Preston North End defender Patrick Bauer gets set for return to former club Charlton Athletic

Preston centre-half Patrick Bauer (centre) will face his former club Charlton Athletic on Sunday
Preston centre-half Patrick Bauer (centre) will face his former club Charlton Athletic on Sunday

Alex Neil says Patrick Bauer has turned out to be a ‘terrific signing’ for Preston North End as he prepares to face former club Charlton on Sunday.

Bauer ended his four-year association with the Addicks in June when he joined PNE on a Bosman.

His parting gift had been to net their last-gasp winner in the League One play-off final against Sunderland.

The German, who turned 27 this week, has started all of PNE’s Championship games and struck up an impressive partnership with Ben Davies.

Last week’s 3-2 win against Blackburn was the only league match they had not started together due to an ankle injury which Davies was nursing.

Rovers were one of the clubs who had a strong interest in Bauer during the summer.

North End were quick off the mark to secure his services though.

Neil said: “There was a lot of interest in Patrick. Our swiftness in making him feel really wanted here was 
important, that is a big thing for players. We made Patrick aware that we were desperate for him to sign.

“We sold our vision of what we wanted to achieve and what we were doing.

“He’s really embraced that and Patrick has turned out to be a terrific signing.”

PNE face Charlton at The Valley on Sunday (12pm) and Neil says Bauer will be full of respect for his ex-employers. “Patrick is respectful of the opportunity he had there,” said Neil.

“In football, humility is a big thing. I think it is vital to recognise and understand the fact someone has given you an opportunity, had the faith and trust in you to represent their club and get paid well for that.

“That shouldn’t be lost on people and it is certainly not lost on Patrick.

“That speaks volumes for Patrick as a man – he had some great times with Charlton.

“He decided for himself, his family and his career that he wanted to try something new and he came here.”