PNE in Numbers: How Preston North End's poor form compares with slow starts from down the years

No Preston North End fan needs reminding what a disappointing start to the season it has been.

By The Newsroom
Friday, 5th October 2018, 12:48 am
Updated Friday, 5th October 2018, 4:58 am
Preston North End came agonisingly close to an overdue win at Aston Villa on Tuesday night
Preston North End came agonisingly close to an overdue win at Aston Villa on Tuesday night

WATCH: Alex Neil's full press conference ahead of Preston North End's clash with Wigan AthleticAs dramatic as Tuesday night’s draw at Villa Park was, the 3-3 scoreline meant that the Lilywhites still haven’t wonin the league since the opening day of the season.

It ended a run of four straight defeats but PNE remain bottom of the Championship ahead of Wigan’s visit to Deepdale on Saturday.

A record of one victory, three draws and seven defeats has yielded just the six points in the opening 11 games.

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Preston North End came agonisingly close to an overdue win at Aston Villa on Tuesday night

It’s a poor run, no doubt, but how does it compare to years gone by and what can the record books tell us about what might be to come?

You don’t have to look too far back for nearly as bad an opening few weeks to the season.

On their return to the Championship in the 2015-16 campaign, PNE also won just one of their opening 11 matches, two more draws meaning they had eight points.

When all was said and done Simon Grayson’s side finished 11th as they established themselves back in the second tier.

In the 1987-88 season, Preston had the same six points at this stage when in the old Division Three and again pulled clear of the wrong end of the table, finishing 16th.

In both of those examples it is worth noting one key stat - the second victory came in the 12th game.

Money on a home win on Saturday then?

The 1980-81 season saw PNE relegated from Division Two after winning two of their opening 11 games and the following campaign also got off to a far from smooth start.

In Division Three the second win didn’t come until game 13 but North End still hauled themselves up to 14th come the end of the campaign.

Perhaps the most remarkable turnaround in fortunes came in 1978-79.

New to Division Two after coming third in Division Three, the Lilywhites certainly took time to adapt.

Win number two didn’t come until the 14th game of the season, a run that also included six straight defeats.

But Alex Bruce’s 26 goals helped PNE up to seventh in what is now the Championship.

Going further back in history, it’s a real mixed bag, but if this run continues the campaign could be over before it has really begun as various relegations confirm.

North End fans will be hoping things pick up when we arrive at the quarter point of the season with a Deepdale derby.