Tonight sees a decidedly old fashioned sounding fixture take place in the Carling Cup, as Preston North End host Tottenham Hotspur. I propose that those attending Deepdale tonight should bring rattles.
The two clubs do share a bit of history, with Tottenham having adopted the kit of white shirts and navy blue shorts, in tribute to the Preston side that won the very first league championship in 1888/89.
This week I interviewed Gary Bond, who runs the Preston site www.lilywhitemagic.co.uk, to quiz him about his side’s chances in the match.
Spurs fans will be pleased to know that he remains gloriously downbeat about their chances. It seems as if our clubs share more than just a kit.
Preston have been the perennial play-off bridesmaids in recent seasons. Could this be your year to win promotion to the Premier League?
Highly unlikely. Due to the financial situation at the club we regularly have to sell 1/2 of our best players every couple of years. This and a lack of ambition, as well as continued negativity from boardroom level, will probably mean we’ll never get promoted.
It just seems we’re doomed to continual frustration year on year. We’ve failed in every play-off campaign we’ve been involved in (we have the worst play-off record in the country) so you’d think our aim should be automatic promotion. With West Brom, Middlesbrough and Newcastle in the division though, it seems very unlikely.
What do you think of the standard of the Championship this season? Who do you think will win it?
The Championship in recent years has been quite exciting and unpredictable to say the least. From a actual football view though, it’s been quite poor. Lots of game have been quite tedious to watch and the general standard is average at the very best. This season has been ok so far, but I expect it to revert to type soon.
Its hard to predict an actual winner though, but it’ll probably be either West Brom, Middlesbrough or Newcastle.
You’ve started well and have a great home record this season. Do you think that you have a chance of pulling off a giant killing on Wednesday?
Not likely. Our history shows that we aren’t really capable of pulling off a giant killing and usually run out of steam. We have given it a good though – being 2-0 up against Arsenal in the FA Cup when they were reigning champions whilst we were in Division 2, now League 1, was particularly memorable.
Who will be your danger men?
Possibly Chris Brown and Neil Mellor – they’ve been excellent so far this season when they’ve both started and link up well together. When on form, Ross Wallace can be a real danger with his pace and excellent crossing into the box. He hasn’t been great so far this season though, but the game will present a good opportunity to show what he can do.
What are your thoughts on Tottenham’s start to the season? What do you think we’ll achieve?
It’s fair to say Spurs have had an excellent start to the season, despite the defeats to Man Utd and Chelsea. I’m sure no Spurs fan can/will complain considering where they where at this point last season! Defoe is showing just what an excellent player he is and if he can stay fit, then he’ll certain be up there in the leading scorers chart.
I personally think Spurs are very capable of a top six finish, even without Modric.
Is there an excitement in the town at the thought of playing Spurs, or is it just another game?
I’d thought that there would’ve been an element of excitement when the draw was made, but unfortunately that’s not been the case. Ticket sales have largely been disappointing. It could be down to people having little interest in the Carling Cup, but I think its a mixture of that and the fact that Preston is full of plastic Man Utd, Chelsea, Arsenal & Liverpool fans.
Plastic Chelsea and Arsenal fans? In Preston? Now I’ve heard it all. You can understand United and Liverpool having fans there because of the proximity, but why are people from Preston supporting our dopey London rivals?
Let’s wish Preston all the best this season. After we’ve knocked them out of the cup tonight, naturally.