Preston North End hit the international break hindered by inconsistency

The Championship season is now on pause for the third time, providing a moment for reflection ahead of a nonstop  sprint through to late March.

By Dave Seddon
Monday, 8th November 2021, 12:26 pm
Updated Tuesday, 9th November 2021, 11:18 am

Preston North End are not back in action until a week on Saturday when they host Cardiff City at Deepdale.

The first three months of the campaign have been done in blocks of five or six league matches between international breaks.

Following the current pause there are 22 league games before the March break, with the FA Cup in the mix too.

Preston north End players warm-up before the defeat to Nottingham Forest at the City Ground

North End have entered the November break with something of a mixed bag.

The latest six-game block of games was their most fruitful of the season in terms of points but contained their two poorest displays.

Hence the unrest among the supporters and the high level of criticism being thrown by them at the club.

PNE collected 10 points from the six games between October 16 and last Saturday.

PNE and Nottingham Forest players observe a minute's silence before the game at the City Ground

Last Wednesday’s 2-1 win at Bournemouth was the highlight, defeat to Blackpool the obvious low.

Nottingham Forest ran the derby loss close in terms of performance, although the occasion and background to Blackpool put that one at the bottom of the pile.

In the first block of games in August, North End took six points from five matches, those provided by two home wins over Peterborough and Swansea.

In September and early October, it was five points from six games – PNE had the run of five draws and then the defeat at QPR.

During the October and November block, 10 points were gathered from six games.

There were three wins against Coventry City, Luton and AFC Bournemouth, the only draw being Derby’s visit to Deepdale.

Scattered in there were the Blackpool and Forest defeats, in front of the two largest away followings of the season.

It is that inconsistency which has North End back in 17th place, albeit closer in points to the play-offs than to the relegation zone.

The best they have offered in terms of runs of wins is two on the bounce twice – the victories against Peterborough and Swansea, then beating Luton and Bournemouth.

After the break, the Cardiff game is followed by a trip to Middlesbrough and Fulham’s visit to Deepdale.

Then on December 4 comes the derby with Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park. After events on the coast a couple of weeks ago, some Lancashire pride has to be regained there.

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