PNE take on table-toppers Cardiff

For Cardiff City to be leading the Championship a month into the season '“ boasting an unbeaten record '“ might even have surprised their most loyal supporters.

Tuesday, 12th September 2017, 11:28 am
Updated Wednesday, 27th September 2017, 11:51 am
Kenneth Zohore is challenged by Tom Clarke

But that is the rather pleasant reality for the Bluebirds as they arrive at Deepdale on Tuesday night to face Preston North End.

They top the table with 16 points, Saturday’s 1-1 draw against Fulham at Craven Cottage coming on the back of winning their first five league matches.

Had you asked Neil Warnock a month ago whether his Cardiff side would be out in front, he would have doubted it.

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Neil Warnock

Now that they are there, the veteran boss is determined to stay in the upper reaches.

And the good start has raised the possibility of Warnock achieving an eighth promotion of his career.

Warnock said: “My dream is to get an eighth promotion.

"I thought it might be a little bit difficult in the circumstances here – we haven’t got a lot of money.

Neil Warnock

“We’ve spent nearly £4m and brought in 10 players.

“We are more or less underdogs everywhere we go but I guess soon we might not be.”

Danny Ward scored his first Cardiff goal since a summer move from Rotherham, to secure the draw at Fulham.

Former Rochdale winger Nathaniel Mendez-Laing is Cardiff’s top scorer with five goals.

Kenneth Zohore will be someone who North End have to keep a tight watch on.

The Danish striker scored 12 goals last season - including against PNE in January - and there was strong interest in the summer in from Brighton and Hull.

Preston boss Alex Neil said: "Players like Zohore, someone who can run in behind with the pace and power he has got and who is also strong enough to link play, can make it difficult for defenders.

"Generally, players can do one or the other, but if someone can do both they can cause problems.

"Get too tight to them, they can roll you and go in behind, if you sit off them, they can link play and help their players get up the pitch.

"Zohore is definitely a handful at this level.

"I think they got a bid in double figures (of millions) in the window, so it shows you people are taking note."