Released Preston North End striker David Nugent set for another shot at the play-offs with Tranmere Rovers

David Nugent’s season will go into extra time later this week, a familiar experience for the striker who Preston North End have just released.

By Dave Seddon
Monday, 17th May 2021, 12:30 pm

Nugent joined Tranmere on loan from PNE in February, his time on the Wirral running down the last few months of his Deepdale contract.

Tranmere’s season is not finished yet, with them facing Morecambe in the League Two play-off semi-finals.

They host the Shrimps at Prenton Park on Thursday evening, with the return leg at the Mazuma Stadium on Sunday lunchtime.

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David Nugent in action for Preston North End against Leeds at Elland Road in December 2019

This will be the seventh time Nugent has experienced the play-offs in his career with five different clubs.

He played for Bury against Bournemouth in a League Two semi-final in 2003.

In his North End heyday Nugent played two seasons in the Championship play-offs.

The frontman was in the Preston side which reached the final in May 2005.

David Nugent challenges for the ball playing for loan club Tranmere against Sunderland at Wembley in the Papa John's Trophy final

He scored in the semi-final first leg against Derby at Deepdale, a game which PNE won 2-0 – they drew 0-0 at Pride Park.

A year later, Nugent made a rapid return from a broken metatarsal to feature against Leeds in the semi-final, netting a superb solo effort in the first leg at Elland Road which finished 1-1.

But North End were beaten 2-0 at Deepdale four days later which brought the Billy Davies era to a conclusion.

Nugent played for Leicester in the play-offs in 2013, then with Derby in 2017 and 2018.

His second spell at Preston was not a success after he had returned on a Bosman in July 2019.

He started 11 games and came off the bench 13 times in the 2019/20 season, one which had a three-month pause in it due to the pandemic.

His one goal came in a 2-1 home victory over Fulham.

This season he didn’t kick a ball for PNE and apart from a short spell in pre-season, did not train with the squad.

Nugent joined Tranmere on the last day of the transfer window on February 1. In the league, he has started seven times and made 11 sub appearances, scoring twice.

He turned 36 at the start of May and it remains to be seen what his future holds.

Nugent was one of five first-team players released by PNE last week ahead of their contracts ending in June.

Josh Ginnelly, Louis Moult, Billy Bodin and Graham Burke were the others, with Paul Gallagher retiring in order to join the coaching staff.

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