Preston North End's old foe Tony Pulis will be back at Deepdale with Sheffield Wednesday

It will be an old foe of Preston North End’s in the Sheffield Wednesday technical area when they visit Deepdale next Saturday.

By Dave Seddon
Sunday, 15th November 2020, 12:30 pm

The Owls appointed Tony Pulis as their new manager on Friday evening, quickly filling the vacancy created by Garry Monk’s sacking.

Pulis and North End have history, going all the way back to the 1995/96 campaign.

He was Gillingham’s boss then, the side which PNE went toe-to-toe with in the battle for the Third Division title.

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Tony Pulis and Alex Neil on the touchline at Deepdale when PNE played Middlesbrough in January 2018

That battle was won by North End, the Kent club promoted as runners-up behind David Moyes’ men.

Three years later, the Gills and Preston met in the Second Division play-off semi-finals, this time Pulis’ side coming out on top.

Their paths have crossed a number of times since, Pulis managing Stoke in two spells during which they faced North End in the Championship before he guided the Potters to the Premier League.

Pulis replacing Monk at Hillsborough is history repeating itself.

The Welshman also took over from Monk at his previous club Middlesbrough in December 2017.

Pulis’ second game in charge of Boro was their 3-2 win over PNE at Deepdale on New Year’s Day 2018.

He stayed on Teesside until the end of the 2018/19 season, his contract now renewed.

A 17-month break from management followed, that hiatus ended by Wednesday’s approach for him.

The Owls will travel over the Pennines to face North End in the Championship’s bottom three.

Their 23rd position with six points is a lot better than it was.

They started the season on minus 12 points, that the punishment after being found guilty of financial irregularities.

That was a sanction halved on appeal recently, lifting them off the foot of the table.

Derby, the side who lay below Wednesday in the table, also opted for a change of manager over the weekend.

They called-time on Phillip Cocu’s reign on Saturday evening, handing skipper Wayne Rooney and coaches Shay Given, Liam Rosenior and Justin Walker temporary charge until they make a full-time appointment.

Rooney is among the early favourites for the job.

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