Preston North End's record after international breaks doesn't make for great reading
It would be fair comment that Preston North End and international breaks are not exactly happy bedfellows.
Their 12-game unbeaten run was ended by Reading at the Madejski Stadium, the first game back after the March break.
It was the fourth loss on the back of an international fortnight in the last two seasons.
Of the eight breaks in that time, North End have won just once in the first game back – against Blackburn at Deepdale.
The first break this season came in September, with North End resuming action at home to Reading.
They were beaten 3-2 at Deepdale by the Royals who are the only side this term to do the double over PNE.
After the October break, Alex Neil’s men played Hull City at the KCOM Stadium and drew 1-1 thanks to Louis Moult’s last-gasp equaliser.
The 4-1 derby victory over Blackburn followed the break in November.
Ahead of the March gap in the fixture list, North End had won three games on the spin but were unable to continue that run at the weekend.
The only two PNE players away on international duty this time were Lukas Nmecha with Germany Under-21s and Sean Maguire who won his fifth cap with the Republic of Ireland.
North End’s pickings from last season’s games following international breaks totalled three draws and a defeat.
After the late August/early September break in 2017, they drew 1-1 with Barnsley.
In that game, Brad Potts scored the Tykes’ equaliser.
North End drew 2-2 with Fulham at Craven Cottage in the October, Sean Maguire and Jordan Hugill putting them 2-0 ahead in London.
After the November break, they shared a drab 0-0 draw with Bolton in front of the Sky TV cameras at Deepdale.
This time last year, their first game back after the break saw them lose 4-1 at Sheffield Wednesday.
So seven points from the 24 on offer is the sum total in two seasons.
The season before that, Simon Grayson’s last at the helm, North End’s record post-international break was three draws and one defeat.
They were beaten at home by Barnsley in September 2016, then drew 2-2 against Brighton.
There was a goalless draw with Wolves following the break in November, then they drew with Nottingham Forest in April 2017.