Rock Bottom

Last updated : 18 August 2021 By @pnemad

It is not unusual for Preston to have a slow start to a league season. On numerous occasions North End have been in the relegation places in the early parts of the season.

The main difference this season is that the opening few games were against teams who were unlikely to be troubling the higher reaches of the table and this was topped off with defeat to a distinctly poor Huddersfield side.

Preston travelled to Huddersfield after an opening day thumping at home to newly promoted Hull and defeat away at Reading. Huddersfield had themselves faced a heavy defeat at home to Fulham at the weekend.

The standard 5-3-2 formation was employed with three centre backs who have been less than impressive this season although to class Andrew Hughes as a centre back might be a little misleading to some.

The system restricts attacking intent and relies on forward thinking wing backs. Van den Berg is a centre back and not a wing back. Josh Earl played on the left and was probably the one bright spark of the evening.

Sinclair and Riis sat on the bench whilst Potts was given a role alongside Evans up front. Some of the team selection was strange at best.

North End had the better of the first half against a very poor Huddersfield side. Johnson had the first main opportunity when he capitalised on hesitancy in the defence but his shot curled wide of the post.

Evans was unmarked in the box but his volley missed the target. The best chance then came when Earl raided down the left crossing the ball to Evans whose shot was easily saved.

Whiteman also had a curling effort easily saved. It seemed like the home team were there for the taking but Preston failed to put their foot down and in the second half they were abject at best.

The home side came back into the game and in their first real attack they cut open the Preston defence with a through ball. Van den Berg was chasing back and could only prod the ball past Iversen into the net.

The home side then failed to have a shot on target although did hit the post late on. It was comical that Preston had managed to lose a game without Huddersfield having a shot on target.

The performance was endemic of how the club has become over recent times. Questions are raised in numerous directions. Recruitment, selection, tactics amongst other issues are all causing concern.

Preston now face a home game against Peterborough. The season still has a long way to run but if there are no incomings before the end of the deadline then North End will face a long hard season battling relegation and hoping there are three worse sides in the league.