PNE in Numbers: Home form has been difference in top-six bid
Preston North End have certainly enjoyed life more on the road this season than at Deepdale.
The 0-0 draw with Norwich on Saturday means it is just eight wins in 22 games at home this campaign with there also being eight draws and six defeats.
Ahead of the final away game of the season at Sheffield United this weekend it’s nine wins, eight draws and five defeats for Alex Neil’s men on their travels in the Championship.
Should the Lilywhites avoid defeat at Bramall Lane it will only be the third time they have finished a season with fewer defeats away than at home.
Guess what happened in the previous two campaigns?
In both the 1995-96 season and in 1999-2000 PNE were promoted as champions, winning Division Three and Division Two respectively during memorable campaigns.
Now that’s not going to happen this time around but it is a good indicator that Neil’s side have had a good year in the second tier as he has settled into the Deepdale hotseat.
On the flipside it underlines that should they miss out on the top six come May 6 then it will be the home form that hasn’t held up its end of the bargain.
Victory in South Yorkshire on Saturday is the aim as North End bid to keep the season going until the final day meeting with relegation-threatened Burton Albion.
Three points would mean it would only be the fourth time PNE have finished with more away wins than at home.
In 1955-56, there were eight on the road and six at Deepdale, the aforementioned 1995-96 season was 12 compared to 11, while the return to the Championship in the 2015-16 campaign ended with eight wins on the road and seven on home soil.
On five previous occasions Preston have ended the season with the same number of home and away defeats.
In the Invincibles season back in 1888-89, there were of course none.
Twelve months later the campaign ended with two defeats at Deepdale and two on the road.
In the 1955-56 season there were 10 defeats both at home and away, while in the 1958-59 campaign the figure was nine.
More recently in 2010-2011 the Lilywhites lost 12 at Deepdale and 12 on their travels as they were relegated to League One.
With thanks to Martin Atherton for his help with the stats