If we play another Championship side away from home in the next round of the Carling Cup, I know what score I’m going to have a bet on.

Like the game against Doncaster, our 5-1 win over Preston was a little unkind to the home side. They had plenty of chances but just couldn’t put them away, whilst our finishing was top drawer.

There were a lot of positives to take from this game. The sight of Dawson back in a Spurs shirt was a reassuring one and it was great to see Bale make his first appearance of the season. Gomes pulled off a couple of great saves and I think that his athleticism should keep him in the team over Cudicini.

The real story was up front, with Crouch and Defoe starting together. We took an early lead when Crouch stuck out a long leg to convert Bale’s inviting cross. Then Defoe made it 2-0 going into half time, after he wiggled away from his marker to fire in a shot and was there to head home after the Preston keeper made a sharp save.

In the second half, Crouch made it three when he rolled Lennon’s pass into an empty net, before Preston pulled back a deserved goal through Brown. Substitute Robbie Keane was put through by Huddlestone and finished calmly. Let’s hope that goal will give Keane some much needed confidence… that’s if he starts against Burnley.

Because Peter Crouch stated his claim to oust our skipper, when he completed his hat-trick in injury time. As goals to complete hat-tricks go, this one ranked right up there, as Lennon crossed from the left and Crouch connected with a backheeled volley.

It’s a cliche, but if a Brazilian had scored a goal like that, rather than goofy old Peter Crouch, everyone would be bowing at their feet. Can Harry drop him after scoring three goals last night?

Either way, it’s all looking very positive for the weekend. After back-to-back defeats, this was the perfect result to bring back some much needed confidence.

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