Reading v Preston North End preview: Meet the manager, referee, key stats

Preston North End head to the Madejski Stadium on Saturday to face Reading.

Friday, 29th March 2019, 8:48 am
Updated Friday, 29th March 2019, 9:58 am
Preston striker Lukas Nmecha in action against Reading at Deepdale in September

The Lilywhites need the points for their play-off push and will be targeting a seventh successive win on the road, while the Royals are looking to climb away from relegation danger.

Meet the Reading manager: Jose Gomes.

The 48-year-old Portuguese was appointed Reading boss just before Christmas, succeeding Paul Clement who was sacked after a poor run of results.

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Reading boss Jose Gomes

Gomes has been coaching since his twenties and has worked at clubs in Portugal, Hungry, Greece, Spain and Saudi Arabia. He had spells as assistant coach at Porto, Malaga and Panathinaikos and was head coach at six clubs before taking the Reading job.

His last club before moving to England in December was Portuguese outfit Rio Avenue.

Meet the referee: Tony Harrington.

The Cleveland-based referee is in charge of Preston North End’s trip to Reading on Saturday.

Referee Tony Harrington sends-off Ryan Ledson in PNE's Carabao Cup win at Leeds last August

It is the third PNE game that Mr Harrington has officiated this season. He was in the middle for their League Cup win at Leeds in August, a game in which he sent off Ryan Ledson for a two-footed tackle.

Mr Harrington also refereed the 3-2 Deepdale defeat to West Bromwich Albion in September. He has shown three red cards and 101 yellows this season.

Key men:

PNE - Ben Pearson.

With Alex Neil predicting an open game, this could well suit Pearson.

He will be needed to break up Reading's play and kick-start North End on the counter-attack, something he has done very effectively away from home.

Reading: John Swift.

The former Chelsea player is an attacking midfielder who carries a threat from the engine room and links well with the attack.

He has an eye for goal too.

This week in history:

42 years ago: On March 29, 1977, Preston beat Sheffield Wednesday 4-1 at Deepdale. Mark Lawrenson, John Smith, Mike Elwiss and Alex Bruce scored the goals in front of an 11,753 crowd.

39 years ago: Two goals from Mike Elwiss – back at North End on loan from Crystal Palace – gave PNE a 2-1 win over Leicester City at Filbert Street on March 29, 1980.

34 years ago: On March 26, 1985, Preston won only their second away game of the season when they beat Doncaster Rovers at Belle Vue. North End’s goals came from John Kelly and Dale Rudge.

32 years ago: North End won their Lancashire derby clash with Burnley 2-1 at Deepdale on March 28, 1987. John Thomas and Oshor Williams netted for PNE.