Preston North End boss Alex Neil and his Wigan Athletic counterpart Paul Cook keenly awaiting derby clash

Preston North End manager Alex Neil hopes his side's clash with Wigan Athletic on Saturday can go the same way as when the teams met earlier in the season.

Friday, 7th February 2020, 5:00 pm
Sean Maguire scores for Preston against Wigan in August at Deepdale

The Lilywhites won 3-0 at Deepdale in August, Sean Maguire, Louis Moult and Paul Gallagher scoring the goals.

It got them up-and-running for the campaign following an opening day defeat at Millwall.

They now head to the DW Stadium on Saturday dinnertime (12.30pm) for a meeting in front of the Sky Sports cameras.

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Preston manager Alex Neil and his Wigan counterpart Paul Cook

Neil said: "I thought we were really bright that day, we started the game well with Sean scoring a header early on.

"Louis Moult scored and there was a great set piece from Gally.

"We had Sean playing off the left, Billy Bodin from the right, it was a great performance and we thoroughly deserved to win."

Wigan manager Paul Cook is looking forward to welcoming North End to the DW Stadium.

Wigan manager Paul Cook

And he is clearly an admirer of the work Neil is doing at PNE.

Cook said: "Preston's a game you always look forward to on the calendar.

"It's a massive derby match, against what must be said is a very, very good team.

"I don't want to sit here and give Preston all kinds of superlatives.

"But even if Alex was to just maintain what they've been doing so far, they'll have had an absolutely outstanding season.

"They continually get results, Alex continually gets the best out of his group.

"They're pushing for the play-offs which, on a level playing field, they probably don't have any right to be doing.

"That's great credit to the manager and the staff, we've always got on well with them and we'll have a nice drink after the game again on Saturday.

"On paper, they're probably not one of the strongest sides in the division.

"But you don't play games on paper, you play it on grass with two goals at the end, and his side are very committed, honest - with a lot of talent as well."