Preston ace Greg Cunningham will be thrilled to play in front of an audience at Bamber Bridge this weekend

Preston North End defender Greg Cunningham is glad to see the back of ‘soulless’ games of football, ahead of the return of fans at Bamber Bridge this weekend.

Thursday, 8th July 2021, 12:30 pm

North Enders will be able to watch their side play live for the first time since March 2020 at the Sir Tom Finney Stadium, with 1,300 tickets sold.

Fans will have to provide a negative lateral flow test in order to attend the game, a condition only imposed on the two clubs after the tickets had sold out.

The Lilywhites’ faithful always have a huge part to play in their fixtures, with a team that thrives off the atmosphere they can create.

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Greg Cunningham
Greg Cunningham

“That’s going to be massive,” Cunningham told the Lancashire Post “That’s going to be very enjoyable.

“Those fixtures are always great, we always look forward to the first one back and we do look forward to playing the local sides and getting as many into the ground as possible.

“It’ll be a nice feeling to have some fans there and to get a bit of a buzz around the place. At times, it’s been soulless.

“It’s been tough to rock up to stadiums that are normally rocking with fans.

“Deepdale is electric and there’s been no one there.

“There has been that aspect where you really do have to dig deep and get yourself motivated, since I’ve been a the club the fans have always made that very easy to do.”

The 30-year-old is back for his fourth pre-season with PNE, though it wasn’t something he necessarily expected when leaving the club for Cardiff City in the Premier League three years ago.

Back full time, after an loan spell, the Irishman has no doubts about his second stint at a club that is a home away from home for him.

He said: “You just never know with football, do you?

“They do say never go back but this is home for me.

“It was a no-brainer and I’m glad to be back. Maybe it was fate for me to come back.

“I’m here, I’m happier than ever, I feel really good, I’m just looking forward to this pre-season and we’ll see how things go.

“It feels good to be back in the building and to catch up with the boys.

“Coming back in January and still knowing a few of the players and most of the staff, it was an easier transition than at other clubs so it’s been positive. At the same time, I’ve been working hard over the summer and I’m raring to go. I’m feeling positive.”

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