Preston North End star's Stoke City surprise as dressing room conversations shared

Freddie WoodmanFreddie Woodman
Freddie Woodman | CameraSport - Ian Cook
PNE host Stoke City in the Championship this afternoon

Preston North End goalkeeper Freddie Woodman is raring to go against Stoke City - whose struggles have come as a shock to him.

It's ninth versus 22nd at Deepdale, with the Lilywhites in the play-off picture and Steven Schumacher's side battling relegation. North End boss Ryan Lowe, for the second time this season, goes up against his best mate on the touchline.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

PNE head into the game fresher than they expected, after Wednesday's clash at Southampton was postponed due to a nearby fire. Preston head into the match unbeaten in seven and Stoke's vulnerable position reminds Woodman just how tough the Championship can be.

"Yeah, any team can get dragged into it," said Woodman. "If you go on a bit of a bad run, you can just get sucked in and then it's really difficult to pick up points. I am really surprised to see Stoke down there, to be honest. I think they've got some fantastic players, really, and I don't think they deserve to be down there. So, it's a tough game for us. They are unpredictable; you don't know which side is going to turn up. We have to be really focused and prepared for that."

And at this stage of the campaign - when everything is on the line and teams are desperate for points - those at the wrong end of the table make dangerous opponents. QPR recently won at Leicester City while Huddersfield held Leeds to a draw, so Woodman and co are well aware of the test Stoke should provide.

"A lot of us have said in the changing room, that these are the hardest games," said North End's number one. "When you are playing against your Stokes and other teams around there, they are your hardest because they're totally different from playing what we've played recently - Hull and Ipswich, where they try to take a lot of possession. When you play against these other teams, it's a physical game and they fight for everything. I think it will be a really good battle and quite an enjoyable game on Saturday."

Related topics:

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.