Preston North End's loaned out defender to feature for Sheffield Wednesday against his former manager in Sunderland play-off clash

Preston North End’s loaned-out defender Jordan Storey will face his former gaffer in the League One play-offs.

By Dave Seddon
Tuesday, 3rd May 2022, 12:30 pm

Storey is having a productive loan spell at Sheffield Wednesday and the Owls meet Sunderland – managed by ex-PNE boss Alex Neil – in the play-off semi-finals.

The first leg is at the Stadium of Light on Friday night, with Hillsborough the venue for the return clash next Monday.

Neil was manager at Deepdale when North End signed Storey from Exeter City for £500,000 four years ago.

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Preston North End defender Jordan Storey in action for loan club Sheffield Wednesday against Doncaster Rovers

The Lilywhites allowed Storey to go on loan to Wednesday in January, having found himself out of the first-team picture in the weeks before.

With Wednesday paying a contribution to his wages, that saving helped PNE finance the loan deal for Cameron Archer.

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Storey, 24, has made 19 starts for Darren Moore’s side, with him a a regular fixture in their back three.

Sunderland manager Alex Neil watches his side from the touchline at Morecambe

He scored his second goal in their colours in the 4-1 win over Portsmouth last Saturday which confirmed a fourth-place finish and the home leg second in the play-offs.

It will be interesting to see what happens with Storey in the summer. He only signed a new contract with North End last September and there will be a vacancy in the squad with Sepp van den Berg heading back to Liverpool.

If Wednesday were to get promoted, that would give them the financial clout to possibly make a bid for Storey.

Sunderland secured their play-off slot with a 1-0 victory at Morecambe, that a 13th game unbeaten for the Black Cats.

Neil has tasted defeat only once since joining the Wearside outfit in February, that his first managerial job since being sacked by North End in March 2021.

Two former PNE players – Bailey Wright and Aiden McGeady – will be in the Sunderland squad attempting to get past Wednesday.

Wright has been a regular in their defence under Neil, although his time at Deepdale pre-dated Neil being in charge.

McGeady, who was PNE’s player of the year in the 2016/17 season when on loan from Everton, returned to the bench at Morecambe after a long injury absence.

There’s a North End link in the other League One play-offs, with Wycombe – managed by former PNE player Gareth Ainsworth – taking on MK Dons.