Preston North End's away form takes a tumble after a strong run on the road

After being so comfortable on their travels for a sizeable spell of the season, Preston North End have seen their away form take a dip in recent weeks.

By Dave Seddon
Friday, 22nd April 2022, 12:30 pm

The Lilywhites’ 3-0 reverse against Fulham at Craven Cottage on Tuesday night was their third away defeat in a row – their poorest sequence on the road this campaign.

It followed the 1-0 loss at Derby County on April 2 and the 4-0 hammering at the hands of Luton Town in March.

The Gentry Day visit to Barnsley a week on Saturday is North End’s last road trip of the season and they will be looking to end that mini away slide at Oakwell.

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Preston North End goalkeeper Daniel Iversen and defender Andrew Hughes can only watch as Fulham striker Fabio Carvalho scores his side's second goal at Craven Cottage

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They were going pretty well on their travels under Ryan Lowe until the trio of defeats.

Lowe had overseen four wins, three draws and a single defeat away from home in the Championship.

PNE beat Stoke City, West Bromwich Albion, Hull City and Peterborough United, drawing with Millwall, Coventry City and Cardiff City.

Fulham prepare to defend a free-kick against Preston North End at Craven Cottage

Until March, the one away loss was at Swansea City in January.

Fifteen points away from Deepdale under Lowe isn’t a bad tally and boosting that at Barnsley on the penultimate weekend of the season has to be the target.

Under Lowe’s predecessor Frankie McAvoy, North End won twice away in the league, drew three and lost six.

The final defeat on the road under McAvoy was at Blackburn Rovers on December 4 and cost him his job as head coach 48 hours later.

It is Rovers who visit Deepdale on Monday night, with PNE looking to exact some derby revenge in front of the Sky Sports cameras.

McAvoy had seven winless away games in the league – four defeats and three draws – before hitting the jackpot with a 2-1 win at AFC Bournemouth on November 3.

The other win on the road which the Scot oversaw was at Middlesbrough three weeks after the Bournemouth triumph.

If North End avoid defeat to Blackburn, it will see Reading as the only club to do a league double over them this season.

On the flip side, they have done the double over two teams so far – Bournemouth and Peterborough United.

The last two games against Barnsley and Middlesbrough offer the opportunity for doubles.

Focusing back on the Fulham defeat, the odds were stacked against North End pulling off a shock result.

Their fourteen previous visits to Craven Cottage had yielded two wins, three draws and nine defeats.

The Cottagers had suffered a blip by their standards after losing their previous two games to Derby and Coventry.

That was the only time this season they had suffered back-to-back defeats, so three on the bounce was unlikely.

Factor in Aleksandar Mitrovic needing two more goals to hit the 40-mark for the season facing a club he’d previously netted seven times against, then it was an uphill battle for Lowe’s men.

It was the second time North End had trailed 3-0 at half-time in a game this season, the Luton defeat the other time. The Hatters went on to score one more, Fulham’s first-half work seeing them home and hosed.