Preston's strong away record to get the Royal test at Championship leaders Reading

Preston North End’s strong away record will be put to the ultimate test  by Reading at the Madejski Stadium on Wednesday night.

By Dave Seddon
Monday, 2nd November 2020, 12:34 pm
Updated Monday, 2nd November 2020, 12:38 pm

The Royals sit top of the Championship table after nine matches and boast a 100% home record.

North End’s form on the road is a match for anyone in the division, with only Reading and Norwich equalling their 10 points gathered on their travels.

So there is no fear factor on the part of PNE boss Alex Neil as he prepares to take his side to Berkshire.

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Preston North End manager Alex Neil

He points out that other away games so far have had a daunting look about them, with the Lilywhites coming out of those well enough.

The big thing from North End’s point of view at the moment is that the game is not at Deepdale, bearing in mind the dreadful home form.

Neil said: “Automatically when you have lost your last game, you want to get back on to the pitch to try and get the next points.

“Our away form has been very good. This is a tough game for us but when you have a look at the games on paper that we have won away from home, arguably they have all been tough – Brentford, QPR and Huddersfield. Even the Norwich performance when we got a draw was excellent.

Veljko Paunovic, right, has guided Reading to the top of the Championship

“The strange thing is at the moment we are at a stage where we could literally go anywhere and beat anybody, that is the type of team that we are.

“But at the moment our home form has been poor.

“On Saturday we had a couple of really good chances to win the game, didn’t take them and got punished.

“Sometimes you go through spells in football when that happens.

“What we can’t do is cry over it, feel sorry for ourselves, we have to get on with it and try and win the next game.”

Although Reading have been labelled by some as a surprise package in terms of leading the table, Neil can see why they are up there.

“Reading, in my opinion, have always had a collection of quality individuals,” said Neil.

“They have the boy Puscas on the bench who cost £7m, Joao cost £5m, Ejaria from Liverpool cost £3.5m.

“At this level they are very good players. There is the young lad Michael Olise who has come through, Andy Rinomhota.

“There are also guys like John Swift too.

“You looked at their squad last season and wondered why they were in the bottom half of the table.”

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