Preston North End Fans' Panel's John Smith is already thinking about next season

I have often thought the long gruelling Championship football season to be like the Grand National.

By John Smith
Sunday, 17th April 2022, 9:12 am

And if our team was a horse in the prestigious Aintree, event my feeling before the Millwall game was that although we were currently staying on well and on a steady gallop inside the final furlong, we were already destined to be placed in the ‘also ran’ category no matter what would be the outcome of this particular encounter.

With the leading pack having almost reached the winning post we were already thinking about next season with five games of this one left to play mainly due to the fact that we have been a way off the pace of the frontrunners since the opening games of the season.

Friday's draw continued Ryan Lowe's impressive record of just one defeat in the 11 home games we have played since his appointment, and I also thought that the attacking football played by both sides made the game far better to watch than some of the dour draws served up at Deepdale under previous managers.

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Preston North End's Cameron Archer on the ball against Millwall on Good Friday

It looked like we were on course for our fourth successive home victory when Murray Wallace’s own goal put us ahead.

However his second goal of the afternoon was not as pleasing on my eye as his unstoppable bullet header into the roof of our goal.

Last week in this column I was championing goalkeeper Daniel Iversen for Player of the Year. This week I am recommending that we build a statue of him to commemorate an incredible triple save which had to be seen to be believed.

My man of the match was substitute Ali McCann who I thought was outstanding playing in his natural midfield position and I personally remain firmly convinced that we have a real find in him, despite his lack of starts.