SEAN GREGAN'S EXCLUSIVE COLUMN
It was brilliant to see Preston get back to winning ways in a very entertaining derby game with Blackburn on Saturday teatime.
Sometimes, local derbies can be an anti-climax with them not living up to the top billing they are given.
But this one did match the expectation levels and was a good one to watch.
Daniel Johnson obviously made the headlines with a couple of the goals.
The finish for the first was impressive to say the least, the curl and direction he got on the ball a credit to him.
Johnson was very calm with the penalty too and put it away nicely.
What the North End fans and management staff will want now, is for Johnson to produce that performance level on a more consistent basis.
If he can do that, he will be a key figure in the midfield and help PNE push higher.
Callum Robinson did very well for the winning goal too, showing a nice touch from the cross and beating the keeper with a low shot.
I’ve heard afew folk having a go at the keeper who got a hand to the ball but could not stop it going in.
But if I was him, I would be asking the defence why they were no tighter to Robinson when the ball came in.
I’m told it was the first win at home over Blackburn in the league for many years.
Saying that, the clubs have not played very often.
In my time at North End, I remember us beating Rovers in the League Cup at Deepdale after they had hammered us in the first leg.
There was the occasion when Blackburn won here to get promotion to the Premier League.
Obviously, the clubs were not in the same division for a long time, hence why the stat about the home win stretches back so far.
Saturday’s win also helped to draw a line under events the week before against Sheffield Wednesday.
As a player, I saw plenty of bust-ups in training and was involved in a few, but I’d never seen it between team-mates on the pitch during a game.
Your energy should be going on getting the better of the opposition, not scrapping with a colleague.
There is a white line you don’t cross as a professional and unfortunately Jermaine Beckford and Eoin Doyle did.
They have been fined by the club and suspended for the red cards, so I think we are best parking that one there and moving on.
Meanwhile, PNE coming out of the hat with Arsenal in the FA Cup third-round draw stirred a few memories.
We played the Gunners in 1999 and it was an occasion both good and bad.
Good in the sense that we went 2-0 up before Arsenal came back to win 4-2.
I remember coming out for the warm-up about 7pm that night and the ground was almost full then and absolutely rocking.
By the time we were ready to kick-off, the atmosphere had gone up a few more notches.
Two goals from Kurt Nogan put us ahead and I’m sure you will remember us jumping on Deepdale Duck to celebrate.
I think the bloke inside the duck suit was quite ample so hopefully we didn’t do too much damage!
Arsenal pulled a goal back and then we had the double whammy of David Eyres being sent-off for bringing down Marc Overmars and them scoring from the free-kick.
Mentioning Nogan, he’s gone off the map and it’s many years since I’ve seen him.
He was a real character with plenty of talent but never fulfilled that talent.