SEAN GREGAN’S EXCLUSIVE COLUMN

Jermaine Beckford scores his Preston's fourth goal against Oldham
Jermaine Beckford scores his Preston's fourth goal against Oldham
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Two of my former clubs met at Boundary Park on Saturday with Preston pulling off a landslide victory over Oldham Athletic.

Winning 4-0 away is a fine result and it was job done with ruthless efficiency by PNE.

That is five league wins on the bounce with five clean sheets and the top two, MK Dons especially, are looking over their shoulders now.

Hopefully the poor run which they had in January is now firmly behind them and they can go from strength to strength in the next few weeks.

A look through the list of goalscorers makes for good reading – Paul Huntington, Daniel Johnson, Joe Garner and Jermaine Beckford.

Garner coming back has been a great boost and now Beckford is back in the frame after his illness.

Johnson now has three goals in three games and is looking a real talent at the heart of the midfield.

As for Huntington, well his scoring record this season is excellent.

Eight goals from centre-half since he got back in the side in September is decent going to say the least.

He must have thought he was on his way out of the club as he was not even making the travelling squad for some games.

His attitude in training clearly got Huntington back in the manager’s plans.

If there is anyone not in the squad at the moment who is feeling a bit down about themselves, they should look at Huntington and see what can be achieved.

From an Oldham point of view – however well Preston played – they will have been so disappointed to be beaten in the manner they were.

When your manager goes in the circumstances which Lee Johnson did, you can go two ways.

You either go out fighting for the caretaker to give him a chance of getting the job or you feel sorry for yourselves.

It seems the latter was the case with Oldham but that is not taking anything away from North End’s performance.

I thought Johnson did a good job there but you can see why he decided to take the Barnsley job.

They have a bigger budget and a complete ground – that new stand at Boundary Park seems to be taking an age to go up.

It is always going to be a struggle for Oldham in terms of finance and attendances as Manchester United and City are right on the doorstep.

Meanwhile, there was a bit of a Preston old-boys reunion on Saturday.

Bamber Bridge, with Paul McKenna and Jon Macken in their side, played against Darlington where I’m on the coaching staff.

It was Macken’s debut and he got through the 90 minutes so goodness know how stiff his legs were on Sunday as he had not played for 18 months since leaving Stockport.

I gave Jon a lift up there – we have always kept in touch – so we had a good chat and he is looking forward to playing for Brig.

McKenna was probably the fittest player on the pitch, I don’t think he’s put on an ounce of weight since he was at North End.

For the record, Darlo beat Brig 2-1, that was a win which was needed after a couple of defeats for us.

With McKenna and Macken now out of retirement, who next from Preston’s 2000 Second Division title-winning side to pull on their boots again?

Maybe I’ll give my old mate Mark Rankine a call. And I wonder what Tepi Moilanen is up to these days?