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After a long hiatus Mark is back with a new story. Where will it take him?

Discussion
https://i.postimg.cc/5t08q4h1/Sky-Bet-Championship.jpg

November 2025 Review


Welcome to the review of November's games.

https://i.postimg.cc/sgXdbB8D/PNEFC-202526-Game18.png
Saturday 1 November 2025

We knew it was going to be tough against the 'Boro for sure as they came into this fixture with the best defensive record in the division; just nine conceded in 16 games. However, they went back to Teesside with three more goals to add on those nine and zero points. Three goals in the final 25 minutes would do the trick for us as we racked up another win, it's all about keeping plugging away until the dam breaks and that's what it did. The opener came in the 65th minute, when a sweeping move saw Andrew Ferguson (deputising superbly for the injured Jack Harrison) crossed wonderfully for Brijan Ibrahimi to plant a header beyond the reach of Connor Ripley in the 'Boro net. Breakthrough! Then we added two more in the final seven minutes to make it look comprehensive...

In the 83rd minute we put a bit of daylight between ourselves and the visitors with a second goal. Ibrahimi weighted a pass into substitute Moise Kean who took a touch before drilling in his eighth of the season with a confident finish. It ended a goal drought for the Italian. Then the gloss appeared as the fourth official signalled four minutes on their board. Once more Ferguson supplied the assist with a beautiful cut back into the path of Ibrahimi who steered a low shot into the far corner for his sixth of the season.

Team: Beiranvand; Roberts, Koundé ©, Ampadu, Cuevas; Ronaldo Vieira; Palmer, Vukcevic; Ferguson, Musonda; Ibrahimi. Substitutes: Tipple (for Cuevas HT), Bächle (for Palmer 54), Kean (for Musonda 69), Crompton, Jääskeläinen, Konsa, Griffiths.
Goalscorers: Ibrahimi (65, 90), Kean (83)
Man of the Match: Brijan Ibrahimi (Preston North End)
Attendance: 17,646 (1041 away)

https://i.postimg.cc/vZNFyYF7/PNEFC-202526-Game19.png
Saturday 8 November 2025

Aston Villa away, and a tough place to come away with something. I joked before the game that I would take a point from our trip to the Second City, but to get that feels like a win in my books. I opted to give both Connor Roberts, Cristiàn Cuevas and Nikola Vukcevic a rest for this game as they have been playing a lot of football recently, and give a chance in midfield for Mateus Uribe to shine again after he asked for a few starts. Normally I'm reluctant to do so but football is becoming more and more a squad game these days so if you've got options to keep things fresh then all is good right? We opened the scoring after nine minutes when Charly Musonda produced a sweet ball into Ibrahimi who brought it down with one touch and then smashed it into the net with his next. Goal number seven of the season for the Albanian.

Yet Villa would go into the interval 2-1 ahead thanks to strikes from former Juve youngster Elia Petrelli and on the stroke of half time, Chay Cooper. Words were said at the break and the team came out with a positive response. We would equalise in the 63rd minute with a cross from Musonda found its way to Ferguson totally unmarked at the far post with no player in claret and blue near him and he had the simple task of putting the ball into an open goal for his first ever goal for the team. A truly special moment for the former Doncaster and Norwich winger. Neither side could break through after that and we ended up shaking hands on a draw.

Team: Beiranvand; Konsa, Koundé ©, Ampadu, Tipple; Ronaldo Vieira, Uribe, Palmer; Ferguson, Musonda; Ibrahimi. Substitutes: Bächle (for Palmer 59), Kean (for Musonda 67), Crompton (for Ampadu 75), Cuevas, Jääskeläinen, Cain, Griffiths.
Goalscorers: Ibrahimi (9), Ferguson (63)
Booked: Uribe (59), Konsa (73)
Man of the Match: Chay Cooper (Aston Villa)
Attendance: 29,431 (1778 Preston)

We would have a behind closed doors bounce game against the Under 18s in the international break. I saw this as an ideal opportunity for players like Harrison, Ollie Watkins and Remo Freuler to get some valuable game time after their respective injuries. Predictably the senior (actually it had hardly any first team regulars in it) squad won, 6-1 the final score. Watkins and Reo Grifiiths both bagged braces whilst there was one each for Freuler and Jonas Bächle. Young winger Ed Finch scored for the Under 18s and I'm sure they enjoyed the kickabout with some of the main squad members.


https://i.postimg.cc/R0kk3g0N/PNEFC-202526-Game20.png
Saturday 22 November 2025

It was back to business after the international break which saw Musonda score his maiden international goals for Les Diables Rouges. Going into it, QPR were our nearest challengers and arrived wearing a bright pink kit which looked a strain on the eyes. Yet when you're playing with confidence, you become a bit of a steamroller and that's how this game turned out. We opened the scoring in the 14th minute when a corner from Musonda reached skipper Jules Koundé and the skipper poked home his fourth of the season at the second attempt after hitting the post initially. Seconds later we had our second, and it came in freaky circumstances when Brownhill's risky pass went straight to Ibrahimi who shot against the post only to see it strike the heels of our former keeper Declan Rudd and roll over the line.

The game was as good as over in the 28th minute as we notched our third, Uribe with a pass into Musonda who hammered it first time into the top corner for his second of the season at club level. Goal number four came just after the hour, and it was another goal this month for Ibrahimi: his eighth of the season. We had only re-introduced Harrison as a substitute a shade over seven minutes earlier when he produced another delightful cross with that wand of a left foot and the striker headed in with all the hallmarks of a man in form. Gary Eckersley pulled one back as a consolation with eight minutes to go but that was it for them, another three points in the bank for us.

Team: Beiranvand; Roberts, Koundé ©, Ampadu, Cuevas; Ronaldo Vieira, Vukcevic, Uribe; Ferguson, Musonda; Ibrahimi. Substitutes: Harrison (for Ferguson 53), Kean (for Ibrahimi 65), Watkins (for Musonda 68), Compton, Jääskeläinen, Konsa, Bächle.
Goalscorers: Koundé (14), Rudd (og 15), Musonda (28), Ibrahimi (61)
Man of the Match: Charly Musonda (Preston North End)
Attendance: 16,895 (477 away)

https://i.postimg.cc/26nPnnqT/PNEFC-202526-Game21.png
Tuesday 25 November 2025

Our only midweek game in November saw us head to SE7 to face struggling Charlton at the Valley, and once more I chose to ring a few changes to keep some players fresh. The game saw Will Jääskeläinen make his début for the Club as Alireza Beiranvand was given the night off. Kean was given a start to lead the line with Ibrahimi rested but on the bench and the Italian opened the scoring in the eighth minute when he played a 1-2 with Cuevas before fooling the home defence with a faked pass then lashing his ninth (should be more) of the season into the roof of the net. Alas his night ended in the 32nd minute when he couldn't carry on after twisting his ankle which meant Ibrahimi had to come on despite my plan to not try and use him. A swift counter attack in first half injury time saw us bag a second as the rain continued to fall, Nikola Vukcevic steering a shot into the bottom corner.

We wrapped up the game with our third in the 51st minute. Charlton couldn't get the ball out of their own half as we ramped up the pressure which culminated in Ibrahimi drilling home a low shot from the edge of the area for his fifth goal of the month and ninth of the season. Banana skin avoided well and truly.

Team: Jääskeläinen; Roberts, Koundé ©, Konsa, Cuevas; Ronaldo Vieira, Vukcevic, Uribe; Harrison, Watkins; Kean. Substitutes: Ibrahimi (for Kean 32), Bächle (for Vukcevic 53), Crompton (for Roberts 67), Tipple, Beiranvand, Ferguson, Musonda.
Goalscorers: Kean (8), Vukcevic (45+1), Ibrahimi (51)
Man of the Match: Cristiàn Cuevas (Preston North End)
Attendance: 14,513 (621 Preston)

https://i.postimg.cc/PJ49RhQw/PNEFC-202526-Game22.png
Saturday 29 November 2025

Sometimes you need to produce a magical substitution sometime to tilt the game in your favour and that's exactly what I did as we finished the month with yet another win. The game looked like being a frustrating draw as I made a double change with nineteen minutes to go, Griffiths being one of those changes for an off form Ibrahimi. Within four minutes of his introduction, the striker had broken the deadlock.

It began when fellow substitute Martin Crompton angled a ball left to Musonda and from the Belgian's low centre, Griffiths slid in and poached home from six yards out. We had broken the Tractor Boys resistance and eight minutes scored a second which completely deflated them. Cuevas brought the ball out of defence and saw Griffiths making a run forward, he picked up the left-back's pass, charged into the area before striking a stupendous effort over the stranded Bentley and into the top corner. What an impact and what a way to win the game for us.

Team: Beiranvand; Konsa, Koundé ©, Ampadu, Cuevas; Vukcevic, Uribe, Freuler; Harrison, Musonda; Ibrahimi. Substitutes: Crompton (for Vukcevic 62), Griffiths (for Ibrahimi 71), Bächle (for Uribe 71), Tipple, Jääskeläinen, Ferguson, Watkins.
Goalscorer: Griffiths (75, 83)
Man of the Match: Reo Griffiths (Preston North End)
Attendance: 17,096 (880 away)


The league standings at November's end read as follows:

https://i.postimg.cc/tJM7W0nh/PNEFC-Table-End-Nov2025.png

Analysis:
An unbeaten month again with only the draw at Villa Park preventing a clean sweep. With teams around us failing to do the same, we've actually gone on and extended our lead at the top of the table. This is really something else and unless complacency really does kick or we have a massive injury crisis then it's looking absolutely great for us. I can see the bright lights of trips to Old Trafford, the Etihad and Anfield already. But there's still a lot of football to be played before the champagne corks can start to be popped.

My main worry is that because we are playing so well, January might prove to be a killer month for us. If we can come out of that month in one piece and all as one then perhaps those fears will be allayed somewhat. Nine points clear and with the goal difference being so significant, it's a great position to be in. The feelgood factor is something else, long may this continue right?
The Man formerly known on SUSIE as Poolie Exile
Give my story a read - Now I would walk 500 miles...

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https://i.postimg.cc/5t08q4h1/Sky-Bet-Championship.jpg

November 2025 Award Winners


After the game reviews, now to see who won on the latest awards.

Manager of the Month:
https://i.postimg.cc/tCC9HRmJ/SBCH-MOTM-Nov2025.png
A second Championship Manager of the Month for yours truly. Another accolade to add to my reputation which is obviously going to improve further if I can keep this up.

Player of the Month:
https://i.postimg.cc/G2C1gbyc/SBCH-POTM-Nov2025.png
Experienced campaigner plying his trade at the Villa. Albanian Brian, as we call Brijan, finished third in this vote despite having scored more goals than the winner and second placed as well as having a better average rating than them as well. Something not right about that...

Young Player of the Month:
https://i.postimg.cc/dVZPqhRs/SBCH-YPOTM-Nov2025.png
Who is this kid? Can't recall him from our game either....that's because he wasn't playing haha!

Goal of the Month:
https://i.postimg.cc/d1vzmnb3/SBCH-GOTM-Nov2025.png
And this month's Villa love fest continues with the goal of the month award heading its way to B6 as well...The winner's name? Oh yeah, Adrian Funes and he's Spanish...an unused substitute when we drew 2-2 with his side.
The Man formerly known on SUSIE as Poolie Exile
Give my story a read - Now I would walk 500 miles...

https://i.postimg.cc/3r4p65Qz/lisbonlionssig.png
https://i.postimg.cc/W4rQqPV8/Preston-North-End-Logo.png

2025-26: December Preview


https://i.postimg.cc/ZKvmCF01/PNEFC-Dec2025-Fixtures.png

So 2025 concludes with another five game span.

Having obviously impressed in our last TV outing, a 4-0 rout of my boyhood club Sunderland, the wonderful people have decided to reward the league leaders (us) with a couple more TV outings in December. Both are away from home, and both are local derbies in a sense. We begin December with a trip over to the University of Bolton Stadium as it is now known to face the Whites. They're just above the drop zone at the time we face them which is where the pre-season predictions had them to be in. In the 90s I actually lived in Bolton for a couple of years, and used to go watch them at the old Burnden Park stadium complete with the Normid supermarket behind one goal so I could maintain my love of watching the game. Local pride is at stake again.

The week after and we're on the road again (cue the song by Canned Heat) and another short journey to another local rival for another live TV outing. Our destination this time is the DW Stadium in Wigan, to face the Latics. Goals in each half from Ollie Watkins and a penalty from Albanian Brian proved to be decisive on opening day as we started the season with three points on the board against our opponents. They will be looking for a bit of revenge for sure but we'll be hoping that we can start the second half of the campaign in the same way as we started the first. Another case of local pride being a stake with bragging rights hoping to be retained by us.

The first home game in December comes the Saturday before Christmas when Stoke come visiting. For a side that was expected to take the title, the Potters have massively underachieved. This underachievement saw them sack Dutchman Klaas-Jan Huntelaar after only 150 days (well they decided to overlook me so their loss has certainly been Preston's gain) and splash a hefty compensation fee out to Middlesbrough to attract Spaniard Vitolo there. The squad they have should not be in 16th place as December starts, they should be at least in the play off mix. We'll be hoping to add to our 2-1 win there and heap more misery whilst boosting our own promotion campaign.

Boxing Day, and a trip down to Jasper Carrott land to face the Blues at the Trillion Trophy Stadium at St Andrews. Not sure that Jasper will be there to give his side his support but if he is then I'll try and grab a few words with one of my comedy heroes post game. The game at Deepdale was an incredible one which saw us take the honours 5-3 with Ethan Ampadu scoring his only goal of the season through a stupendous curling free-kick that didn't even get a mention in the Goal of the Month awards. They have the division's current top scorer in their ranks, but concede as much as they do actually score. We'll be hoping to add more notches on that goals conceded column for sure.

The year ends with Portsmouth making a lengthy trip north to Deepdale for our reverse game against them. Like Birmingham the game before, we overcame them 5-3 in the first game between the two sides. The scoreline in my eyes didn't really tell the true story as we were 4-0 up at one stage and it seemed like we were going to run up a cricket score. But in that opening month, we were leaking goals a lot which is something I am pleased to see that has been tightened up despite the back four being freshened to avoid players being tired. We will have played 27 league games by the time this one concludes and if we can keep up the form then I'll be hugely delighted.

Promotion is our target as a club, but winning the title will be a nice addition and continue the sequence of me winning at least one trophy at every club I've been at. Let's make something happen!
The Man formerly known on SUSIE as Poolie Exile
Give my story a read - Now I would walk 500 miles...

https://i.postimg.cc/3r4p65Qz/lisbonlionssig.png
https://i.postimg.cc/T29FQqq2/PNE_WebHeader.png

Third Round Draw made

https://i.postimg.cc/fyYRHW5z/FACup2023.jpg

1 December 2025

We today found our opponents in the Third Round of this season's Emirates FA Cup.

The draw was made live on the BBC's "The One Show" by former England internationalists Frank Lampard and Micah Richards.

Preston were drawn at home to League One side Rochdale at this stage, with the Dale having seen off Darlington and Burton Albion to make it this far. This tie will be played at Deepdale on Saturday 3 January 2026 at a 3:00pm kick off time. In other ties, League One side Rotherham United were rewarded with a visit from Manchester United, Cup holders Chelsea travel across London to face Brentford and there are testing ties for Liverpool and Manchester City against Nottingham Forest and West Bromwich Albion respectively.

Tickets for the Dale game will be on sale very shortly.
The Man formerly known on SUSIE as Poolie Exile
Give my story a read - Now I would walk 500 miles...

https://i.postimg.cc/3r4p65Qz/lisbonlionssig.png
https://i.postimg.cc/5t08q4h1/Sky-Bet-Championship.jpg

December 2025 Review


Welcome to the review of December.

https://i.postimg.cc/dVCY0v1G/PNEFC-202526-Game23.png
Saturday 6 December 2025

We began December with a live outing at the University of Bolton Stadium, and it also marked the first of two away games which would be screened live on TV. Could we show the same performance that we did in our last live outing when we absolutely schooled my boyhood club Sunderland? Well it was a tough and tense local derby as you would expect it to be with neither side looking to give the other an upper hand. I made two changes from the side that overcame Ipswich in the last game, Connor Roberts came back in at right-back with Ezri Konsa moving to central defence as Ethan Ampadu was rested, whilst up front Reo Griffiths was given the chance to lead the line after his supersub appearance, Albanian Brian dropped to the bench to accommodate this.

We took the lead in the 18th minute when some superb vision from Swiss midfielder Remo Freuler saw him pick out Jack Harrison wide on the right; the winger brought the ball down with his right foot then as it dropped: arrowed an unstoppable effort into the top left hand corner with that magical left foot of his, it was Jack's 8th of the season. The Bolton keeper could only watch the ball sail past him , rooted to the spot indeed. They would equalise midway through the second half when Greenwood's cross produced a looping header into the net from Traoré. Then just as it looked we would cancel each other and it would be a draw, we scored the winner with just seven minutes to go. Albanian Brian, on as a substitute for the unimpressive Griffiths, was given so much room in the penalty area by the generous home defence to pick out an equally unmarked Freuler who volleyed home a precise finish for his first of the season.

Team: Beiranvand; Roberts, Koundé ©, Konsa, Cuevas; Vukcebic; Uribe, Freuler; Harrison, Musonda, Griffiths. Substitutes: Bächle (for Uribe 58), Ibrahimi (for Griffiths 69), Crompton (for Bächle 74), Ferguson, Jääskeläinen, Tipple, Watkins.
Goalscorers: Harrison (18), Freuler (83)
Man of the Match: Jack Harrison (Preston North End)
Attendance: 18,478 (1400 Preston)

https://i.postimg.cc/7LMrgVS6/PNEFC-202526-Game24.png
Saturday 13 December 2025

Seven days we were back in action in front of those TV cameras again for another derby, this time in pie country to face Wigan at the DW Stadium. The media were expecting the home side to give us a real test, but we produced a performance that left everyone associated with this old club purring with delight. The late Sir Tom Finney would have been made up as we tore the hosts to shreds with a comprehensive first half showing that was as damn perfect as it could be. The floodgates were open as early as the 7th minute when a Roberts cross was weakly headed out by Bailey to Ibrahimi who planted a volley into the far corner. Goal number ten of the season for the big Albanian. We added a second on the quarter hour, and it came after a corner was headed out to Ibrahimi who switched it out left to Musonda who cut inside before curling the ball beautifully into the corner beyond Cardelli. Four minutes later, it became 3-0 when Freuler scored his second in as many games with an arrowed finish which again left the home keeper floundered as it whizzed into the bottom corner.

Less than a minute later, we had a fourth. Musonda created it with a wonderfully weighted ball into Ibrahimi, whose run he spotted perfectly, and the striker took a touch before sliding it past the advancing keeper for his 11th of the season and 50th career league goal. We went in search of more and duly added the fifth before the half hour mark when Mateus Uribe thundered home a shot from outside the area for his third of the season. The sixth would come, yet we had to wait until the 83rd minute for it, by which time most of the home fans had seen enough. A corner found its way to Uribe who volleyed in his second of the game and 4th of the season, causing our fans to start singing "Jingle Bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way. Oh what fun it is to see Preston win away!" and some to even do an impromptu conga in the away end. Wigan did score a consolation in the final throes when Sissako headed in from a corner kick routine but by that time the damage was done and we took home a very important three points back across the East Lancs Road.

Team: Beiranvand; Roberts, Koundé ©, Konsa, Cuevas; Ronaldo Vieira; Uribe, Freuler; Harrison, Musonda; Ibrahimi. Substitutes: Palmer (for Freuler 58), Watkins (for Musonda 71), Crompton (for Koundé 77), Jääskeläinen, Griffiths, Ferguson, Tipple.
Goalscorers: Ibrahimi (7, 20), Musonda (15), Freuler (19), Uribe (29, 83)
Man of the Match: Brijan Ibrahimi (Preston North End)
Attendance: 23,280 (5412 Preston)


https://i.postimg.cc/wTSCZPVM/PNEFC-202526-Game25.png
Saturday 20 December 2025

Our first home game in December was the last one before Christmas, and we were in no mood to play Santa to our visitors from Stoke as all our eyes were on the three points again. They had been thumped 7-0 in midweek by Liverpool in a Carabao Cup quarter final. and were really hurting not that we actually cared. The opening goal of the game came in the 26th minute and once more, Harrison was the architect with a free-kick into the danger area and Musonda stooped to head in his 5th of the season from just outside the six yard box. The Belgian would have his game cut short though as a thigh niggle meant we had to substitute before half time as a precaution, Ollie Watkins coming on as a like for like replacement. And was he who scored the second in the 41st minute with probably his first touch, a poachers finish from a well flighted free-kick by Cristiàn Cuevas.

We added our third four minutes into the second half, a swift counter attack saw Harrison rattle the crossbar with a fierce volley but rebound out to Ibrahimi who tucked away goal number 12 of the campaign for the striker. We had to endure a nervy finish though as Stoke scored twice in time added on through their Spanish striker Santi Mina who once played in La Liga for Valencia, but we held on and made it three from time in December. A very nice pre-Christmas present for all Lilywhites fans alike.

Team: Beiranvand; Konsa, Koundé ©,, Ampadu, Cuevas; Ronaldo Vieira; Uribe, Vukcevic; Harrison, Musonda; Ibrahimi. Substitutes: Watkins (for Musonda 38), Freuler (for Uribe 63), Crompton (for Ampadu 80), Jääskeläinen, Griffiths, Ferguson, Tipple.
Goalscorers: Musonda (26), Watkins (41), Ibrahimi (49)
Man of the Match: Santi Mina (Stoke City)
Attendance: 17,550 (1041 away)

https://i.postimg.cc/s2ztDhbR/PNEFC-202526-Game26.png
Friday 26 December 2025

Our Boxing Day game this season would be a trip down the M6 to face Birmingham City at St Andrews or as it is known for sponsorship reasons: the Trillion Trophy Stadium at St Andrews. Jasper Carrott wasn't in residence which was a shame, as I've always been a fan of the comedian. We opened the scoring in the 19th minute, Cuevas standing up a cross to the near post and Ibrahimi rose highest to head in his 13th of the season. Early in the second half we scored the second and what proved to be the game winner too, and what another amazing goal it was. Uribe fed the ball towards Musonda (fully recovered from his thigh niggle six days previous) and the Belgian turned and unleashed a shot that flew into Dahlberg's top corner with the Swedish goalkeeper nowhere near it.

Cardiff City loanee Joe Ralls headed in with eight minutes to go to give his side hope, but that was all it was, hope. We rode out the onslaught and recorded another win as this promotion train keeps a rolling a long unabated and towards the promised land of the Premier League.

Team: Beiranvand; Roberts, Koundé ©, Ampadu, Cuevas; Ronaldo Vieira; Uribe, Vukcevic; Harrison, Musonda, Ibrahimi. Substitutes: Freuler (for Vukcevic 63), Griffiths (for Ibrahimi 73), Crompton, Jääskeläinen, Konsa, Tipple, Watkins.
Goalscorers: Ibrahimi (19), Musonda (51)
Booked: Koundé (26)
Man of the Match: Charly Musonda (Preston North End)
Attendance: 22,221 (1156 Preston)

https://i.postimg.cc/7hjRvGSd/PNEFC-202526-Game27.png
Sunday 28 December 2025

So could we finish the twelfth month of the year with another win and move a step closer to the Premier League? Well, we produced a polished performance that had champions etched all over it as we recorded our 21st win in 27 league games this season which is remarkable. The opening goal came midway through the first half when Nikola Vukcevic found Harrison in a pocket of space around the penalty spot and the inside forward struck a shot which hit the bar then the post before nestling in the back of the net: it was his 9th of the season. Harrison created the second which came just eight minutes later. a corner flighted to perfection onto the head of Uribe who headed home his 5th of the season at the near post. The Colombian has really taken his chance in the team when he asked for a run, and his purple patch continued with our third goal and his sixth of the campaign in the 48th minute. A patient build up saw Vukcevic tee up Uribe who took a touch then blasted a howitzer that rocketed into the top left hand corner of the net. Sensational stuff indeed.

That was the scoring done with, and with Portsmouth not looking like they would score all day, I took the chance to substitute some players such as Uribe (even though he was on a hat-trick), Koundé and Cuevas early as we've still got a lot of football to play in the second half of the season.

Team: Beiranvand; Roberts, Koundé ©, Ampadu, Cuevas; Ronaldo Vieira, Uribe, Vukcevic; Harrison, Musonda; Ibrahimi. Substitutes: Tipple (for Cuevas 49), Konsa (for Kounde 67), Freuler (for Uribe 67), Crompton, Jääskeläinen, Ferguson, Watkins.
Goalscorers: Harrison (23), Uribe (31, 48)
Booked: Ibrahimi (75)
Man of the Match: Mateus Uribe (Preston North End)
Attendance: 18,395 (1041 away)


The league standings at the end of 2025 reads as follows:

https://i.postimg.cc/Gpb511sL/PNEFC-Table-End-Dec2025.png

Analysis:
A second successive 100 per cent of a month, and we've extended our advantage at the top of the table. We started it with a nine point lead, and go into the New Year with an astonishing 18 points lead over second placed Blackburn Rovers. Bar the odd player needing a rest from time to time, we've got a rather settled line up starting now which means players such as Ollie Watkins and Reo Griffiths can't force their way into the starting eleven. Albainan Brian is leading the line superbly, and in Musonda and Harrison we have two excellent wingers whom we have tied down to longer contracts to keep them here for a while.

There's now the opening of the second transfer window which to be honest, I'm worried about a lot. With the players playing so well, I have a feeling that some of them are going to be targets for bigger clubs but if we can come out of this window with an unchanged squad then we'll be delighted. It's the consequence of being in form and on the verges of an instant return to the Premier League for some of us. Time to kick on and get ourselves over the line, not that we are going to relax. There's plenty of football to be played, we can make it happen.
The Man formerly known on SUSIE as Poolie Exile
Give my story a read - Now I would walk 500 miles...

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Uribe gets contract extension

https://i.postimg.cc/GhbjCXZc/Uribe.jpg

29 December 2025

Preston North End can today announce a new contract for midfielder Mateus Uribe.

The 34 year old, who joined the Lilywhites in the summer of 2024 from Mexican side CF America, was due to be out of contract this summer but his recent good form has seen him establish himself in the centre of midfield. Sunday's appearance against Portsmouth, his 15th this season, has exercised an option in that current contract.

This means that Uribe's stay at Deepdale will take him to the summer of next season. We look forward to seeing more magical performances from "Matty".
The Man formerly known on SUSIE as Poolie Exile
Give my story a read - Now I would walk 500 miles...

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December 2025 Award Winners


After the game reviews, now to see who won on the latest awards.

Manager of the Month:
https://i.postimg.cc/zvHYXJLg/SBCH-MOTM-Dec2025.png
Make that back to back awards for yours truly, my third overall this season! This is bound to get some Premier League club bosses worried...

Player of the Month:
https://i.postimg.cc/zDyyRKKn/SBCH-POTM-Dec2025.png
A well earned award for Joe, but second placed Theo Waites of West Brom must be baffled to wonder why he didn't take it after scoring nine in five games. Third placed was our very own "Matty" Uribe who has been exceptional since he got a run in the side so much so it's hard to drop him.

Young Player of the Month:
https://i.postimg.cc/Wpxhmzwx/SBCH-YPOTM-Dec2025.png
We have hardly any youngsters in this team so we won't be winning this one anytime soon.

Goal of the Month:
https://i.postimg.cc/ZK30wmfn/SBCH-GOTM-Dec2025.png
And the winner is the left-back whose side prop up the division, a former Porto trainee to boot. Congratulations to you Rafa Soares, but I do think that Matty's howitzer against Portsmouth was world class anyway. Perhaps I'm being biased....
The Man formerly known on SUSIE as Poolie Exile
Give my story a read - Now I would walk 500 miles...

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2025-26: January Preview


https://i.postimg.cc/pdkmKBsB/PNEFC-Jan2026-Fixtures.png

Here we go with the second half of this season, a season that we want to end with glory and a trophy.

We start January with the customary Third Round FA Cup tie. The draw has been rather favourable it has to be said as we have been awarded a very winnable home tie against Rochdale of League One which means that our objective of making the Fourth Round is very much achievable. However, we will not be taking the Dale lightly as nobody wants to be the victim of a giant killing do they? Naturally some of our fringe players such as Will Jääskeläinen might get a rare start amongst others. It'll be a strong squad which shows how much respect we will have for our visitors but we need to keep the squad fresh and if at all, free from injury which is important when you've got so much at stake in the league campaign.

League action resumes the week after with a testing encounter against Leeds United at Elland Road. They're in the promotion mix as expected, and if we can take something out of this game then it will be considered a success. A point will be a massive achievement for us in such a tough game, but three will be even better as we close in on what is proving to be a season to remember for all the right reasons.

Another promotion candidate are our next opponents as we host Derby County at Deepdale. We defeated them 2-1 at Pride Park earlier in the season, so they will be keen to avenge that and improve their promotion challengers whilst trying to derail our own. In Scott Hirons, they have a highly rated striker who is destined for the Premier League but we kept him rather quiet in game one against the Rams so same again please, right?

Providing we have seen off Rochdale in Round Three, the game on the 24th will be a Fourth Round FA Cup tie. This means that the scheduled game at the Hawthorns will be rescheduled for a new date, probably midweek, and they're just on the fringes of the play off spots so will be a tough opponent indeed especially on their home patch. If we can take them apart with the ruthlessness of what we did earlier in the season; then we will be well on the way to being back in the Premier League. We finish January as it stands with a home game against Barnsley, a team who could be drawn into the relegation dogfight if results don't go their way.


This will be the last update now for a number of days as I'm going away to my Mam's to see her on a surprise visit. I'll be back though as Arnie said....Comments always welcomed though, hope you're all still enjoying this as much as I am.
The Man formerly known on SUSIE as Poolie Exile
Give my story a read - Now I would walk 500 miles...

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Fourth Round Draw made

https://i.postimg.cc/fyYRHW5z/FACup2023.jpg

5 January 2026

The Club discovered their opponents in the Fourth Round of this season's Emirates FA Cup.

The draw was again made live on the BBC's "The One Show", this time by former Liverpool and Germany internationalist Dietmar Hamann and famous Reds goalkeeper Bruce Grobbelaar.

Our reward for disposing of Rochdale in Round Three is an away trip to the Capital and to visit ten time winners Tottenham Hotspur at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Tottenham last won this competition in 2023 when they defeated North London rivals Arsenal 2-0 at Wembley Stadium. The last encounter between the sides saw Tottenham edge home 2-1 with Jack Harrison being on target for the Lilywhites. This game will be played on Saturday 24 January 2026, and means that the West Bromwich Albion away game in the Championship has been moved to the Wednesday before, 21 January.

Tickets for the Spurs game will be on sale as of 9:00am on Wednesday morning to away season tickets holders first, then to home season ticket holders and if any remain after that: general sale to the public.
The Man formerly known on SUSIE as Poolie Exile
Give my story a read - Now I would walk 500 miles...

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January 2026 Review (Part One)


The first part of January's round up:

https://i.postimg.cc/XJz0dMgc/PNEFC-202526-Game28.png
10 January 2025

[justify]Seven days later it was back to the bread and butter of the league campaign, but a tough away trip over the Pennines to face Leeds United at Elland Road. Almost 30000 were in the famous old stadium to watch this War of the Roses with the teams having drawn 1-1 at Deepdale earlier in the season. It was a game of very few chances to be honest, but Leeds took the lead after just 12 minutes when Egyptian winger Zizo curled home a nice effort into the far corner of the goal. However, we equalised seven minutes before half time when Cristiàn Cuevas crossed from the left and Brijan Ibrahimi headed in from six yards out. It was Albanian Brian's 14th goal of the season.

Neither side could get another goal after that and we shared the spoils again with a 1-1 draw.

Team: Jääskeläinen; Roberts, Koundé ©, Ampadu, Cuevas; Vukcevic; Palmer, Uribe; Harrison, Musonda, Ibrahimi. Substitutes: Freuler (for Palmer 58), Kean (for Harrison 71), Konsa (for Vukcevic 83), Crompton, Montgomery, Tipple, Watkins.
Goalscorer: Ibrahimi (38)
Booked: Koundé (2)
Man of the Match: Zizo (Leeds United)
Attendance: 29,297 (1889 Preston)


https://i.postimg.cc/NfT5sbgP/PNEFC-202526-Game29.png
17 January 2025

The last game in this round up saw us take on Derby County at Deepdale, the Rams wearing a grey kit that was a grey as the clouds in the sky. Could we extend the unbeaten run further? Goalkeeper Alireza Beiranvand was restored in net after a two game rest. We took a 15th minute lead when Jack Harrison hared down the right, crossed and following on from Mateus Uribe's flick, Musonda tucked home unmarked at the back post for the Belgian's sixth of the season. Simple really. The game winner came seven minutes after half time when Derby gave skipper Jules Koundé so much room at a corner, and although Pigliacelli parried the first effort, Koundé placed the rebound into the gaping goal as the visitors looked at each other to try and find someone to blame. It was the captain's fifth of the season.

Matt Taylor pulled one back for the Rams midway through that second half but we did enough to ensure we're now 16 games in since our only league loss of the season.

Team: Beiranvand; Roberts, Koundé ©, Ampadu, Cuevas; Vukcevic; Palmer, Uribe; Harrison, Musonda; Ibrahimi. Substitutes: Konsa (for Cuevas 70), Ronaldo Vieira (for Vukcevic 85), Bächle, Jääskeläinen, Crompton. Ferguson, Watkins.
Goalscorers: Musonda (15), Koundé (52)
Booked: Palmer (35)
Man of the Match: Jules Koundé (Preston North End)
Attendance: 17,719 (1041 away)

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https://i.postimg.cc/431fKFMB/PNEFC-FACR3202526.png
3 January 2026
Before those league games we faced a potential banana skin when we hosted local rivals Rochdale in the Third Round of this season's Emirates FA Cup. It was also a chance for me to give some of the regular first teamers a rest, and start a number of back up players to show how much depth we have at the moment. This included starts for Will Jääskeläinen in goal, 19 year old central defender Ben Grant, full back Richard Tipple, midfielder Guilio Maggiore, winger Andrew Ferguson and inside forward Ollie Watkins; Ethan Ampadu captained the reshaped side. This much changed side took the lead after just six minutes, Ferguson with the right wing cross and a downward header from Maggiore that squirmed through Phillips in the Dale goal. It was the Italian midfielder's first goal in 56 games I was told after the game. They equalised after 27 minutes when Bakinson headed a Power corner, but he would turn from hero to villain for his side five minutes before half time.

It came about when he diverted a Watkins shot into his own goal after Nikola Vukcevic corner had landed at the feet of the former Exeter City and Brentford man. A bit of good fortune but you have to take goals however the way they come it has to be said. Yet they were proving a hard side to shift and it took us until the 84th minute to put the tie beyond our stubborn opponents. Substitute Charly Musonda played the ball forward, and as Rochdale dithered, fellow substitute Moise Kean nipped in to round the keeper and score his 10th of the season in his first game back since twisting his ankle just before Christmas. It earned us a Fourth Round tie at Premier League Tottenham as a reward.

Team: Jääskeläinen; Konsa, Grant, Ampadu ©, Tipple; Vukcevic; Palmer, Maggiore; Ferguson, Watkins; Griffiths. Substitutes: Kean (for Watkins 59), Harrison (for Ferguson 71), Musonda (for Griffiths 71), Cain, Montgomery, Cuevas, Freuler.
Goalscorers: Maggiore (6), Bakinson (og 40), Kean (84)
Booked: Ampadu (90+3)
Man of the Match: Giuilo Maggiore (Preston North End)
Attendance: 12,953 (3660 away)
The Man formerly known on SUSIE as Poolie Exile
Give my story a read - Now I would walk 500 miles...

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January 2026 Review (Part Two)


The second part of January's round up:

https://i.postimg.cc/h45syhFg/PNEFC-202526-Game30.png
21 January 2026

Prior to taking on Spurs in the Emirates FA Cup Fourth Round, we had to play West Bromwich Albion at The Hawthorns just three days beforehand. This saw our unbeaten run come to a shuddering halt as we couldn't finish any of the chances we created on the home goal. It was that bad that I let rip at them in the changing room post game, it was more than a good enough reason to bring the hairdryer out of hiatus. Two goals just after the half hour from their top scorer Theo Waites and one time Milan prospect Luca Vido did the damage on a night when too many players just didn't fulfil their potential. In fact former Albion midfielder Kasey Palmer was the only one who came out of the game with at least some credit.

I maintain we wouldn't have even scored with a lady of the night, that's how bad it was.

Team: Beiranvand; Roberts, Koundé ©, Ampadu, Cuevas; Ronaldo Vieira; Uribe, Palmer; Harrison, Musonda; Ibrahimi. Substitutes: Konsa (for Roberts HT), Ferguson (for Harrison 73), Bächle (for Uribe 86), Jääskeläinen, Crompton, Vukcevic, Watkins.
Goalscorers: None
Booked: Ronaldo Vieira (49)
Man of the Match: Luca Vido (West Bromwich Albion)
Attendance: 22,184 (1181 Preston)

https://i.postimg.cc/JnJZ4375/PNEFC-202526-Game31.png
31 January 2026

After the Tottenham game was done, it was back to the bread and butter of the Championship seven days later when we hosted Barnsley at Deepdale. Our very own mascot Deepdale Duck and his counterpart Toby Tyke were in typical comic fashion, entertaining all and sundry pre-game and at half time with their histrionics. After the loss at Albion, we needed to get back onto the winning feeling and not let the good work come undone just as we enter the most crucial part of the season. Thankfully it was Toby and his team who were left in the doghouse come 4:52pm on the final Saturday in January as two first half goals did the damage.

Alireza Beiranvand was restored to the net after Will Jääskeläinen played against Spurs, Jääskeläinen will have a few more chances to impress before the season is out though. We were still without flu victims Ollie Watkins and Connor Roberts as well as Harrison but bar those three, everyone was healthy. We took the lead after just nine minutes when some good close interplay saw Charly Musonda cut inside then lash home a fierce shot that beat the Tykes keeper at his near post for his seventh goal of the season. The second followed in the 21st minute and it was down to Palmer who charged out of defence before weighting a pass to Brijan Ibrahimi who took a touch before smashing a superb left foot shot into the top corner. Totally unstoppable, and Albanian Brian's 15th of the season. Barnsley did have their chances but they couldn't convert any, and Beiranvand secured his 8th clean sheet of the campaign. Three more points closer to the Premier League.

It was also a special day for young striker Delroy Leogal who made his North End début in the 77th minute, a reward for some eye catching performances in the reserves by the kid from Dominica. Hopefully if he continues to improve, we might see more of him in the future. The rest is down to him.

Team: Beiranvand; Konsa, Koundé ©, Ampadu, Cuevas; Ronaldo Vieira; Uribe, Palmer; Ferguson, Musonda; Ibrahimi. Substitutes: Kean (for Ferguson 71), Leogal (for Ibrahimi 77), Bächle (for Uribe 81), Jääskeläinen, Crompton, Vukcevic, Grant.
Goalscorers: Musonda (9), Ibrahimi (21)
Man of the Match: Kasey Palmer (Preston North End)
Attendance: 16,677 (1041 away)

https://i.postimg.cc/8k2vBHbj/facup.png
Saturday 24 January 2026

After disposing of Rochdale in Round Three, it was a trip to North London in Round Four to face Spurs. Not many people gave us much hope but for me it was an insight to what kind of standard we might face in the Premier League next season should we; as expected; gain promotion. Spurs boss Unai Emery named a strong squad to face us which showed how serious he was taking it, this included England trio Eric Dier, Dele Alli and Harry Kane as well as Danish superstar Christian Eriksen. The tie was put to bed in the first half as Spurs ripped us a brand new one indeed. Eriksen scored twice in the 29th minute and on the stroke of half time to add to Chilean forward Matias Venegas' ninth minute opener.

We did at least compete and could have scored ourselves if only the woodwork had not denied Musonda, and Andrew Ferguson had seen a goalbound effort brilliantly turned around the post by Pau Lòpez. On the other hand Jääskeläinen in our net could do nothing to prevent their goals but again I felt he acquitted himself well indeed. Spurs finished the game with ten men as England defensive midfielder Ricky Armstrong was dismissed on a straight red for a rash challenge on Nikola Vukcevic. I had chosen not to risk Roberts after he had picked up a knock in the league loss at West Brom.

Team: Jääskeläinen; Konsa, Koundé ©, Ampadu, Cuevas; Ronaldo Vieira; Uribe, Palmer; Ferguson, Musonda; Ibrahimi. Substitutes: Kean (for Ibrahimi 51), Vukcevic (for Uribe 67), Crompton (for Koundé 71), Beiranvand, Roberts, Bächle, Watkins.
Goalscorers: None
Booked: Ezri Konsa (65)
Man of the Match: Christian Eriksen (Tottenham Hotspur)
Attendance: 77,577 (3878 Preston)

However, this is how the league stands at the end of January:

https://i.postimg.cc/52gSzmV4/PNEFC-Table-End-Jan2026.png

Analysis:
Quite a competitive month with league and cup action for us. Overall I'm quite satisfied with how we came out of it, even though we lost our unbeaten record in fairly dismal circumstances in the Black Country. We're still heading towards the promised land for sure and I'm sure we will be able to wrap this up before we even hit April at the rate we're churning out the games. Just 15 games left to go in that respect to complete my maiden season at this level, and I think I've adapted pretty well to it.

At the bottom Brentford look doomed, they're 12 points away from the safety margin. Stoke, Wigan, Barnsley, Bristol City and Sunderland may look safe at that moment but a terrible run of form for either of them could drag them into the drop zone. Whilst there's a right old battle taking place behind me for that second placed with just seven points between the current second placed incumbent, Derby, to ninth placed Huddersfield. The transfer deadline is also looming, will we come out of it unscathed? That's the next challenge we need to overcome as losing a star player or two might be hard to replace.
The Man formerly known on SUSIE as Poolie Exile
Give my story a read - Now I would walk 500 miles...

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Massive point difference, unless some catastrophic form hits you're going up as champs! It's a matter of when not if!
Thanks for the comment and for continuing to follow the story @bigmattb28 - it certainly appears that way mate. Hopefully promotion to the Premier League will see some of those who wanted moves, decide to stay. But it's going to be tough for us there if the Tottenham Cup result is a marker to go by.

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January 2026 Award Winners


After the game reviews, now to see who won on the latest awards.

Manager of the Month:
https://i.postimg.cc/6QXRFKZf/SBCH-MOTM-Jan2026.png
Oh looky here, we seem to have some kinda competition for the eventual big gong. Second Manager of the Month award this season for Mr Beattie..

Player of the Month:
https://i.postimg.cc/RFCtVTX3/SBCH-POTM-Jan2026.png
Touted by some that he is the new Gunter Netzer, this guy was very much anonymous when we beat his side 2-1. At 23 years old, he could improve no end if he plays for a bigger club.

Young Player of the Month:
https://i.postimg.cc/B6hK81Vm/SBCH-YPOTM-Jan2026.png
Did nothing when we beat the 'Boro in November, At the time of the award though, the on loan Manchester United striker has though hit 18 in 32 games. Could be one for the future...

Goal of the Month:
https://i.postimg.cc/5y6F82cb/SBCH-GOTM-Jan2026.png
And the winner is Neil Gibson of Queens Park Rangers. He's a 17 year old full back that has broken into their first team this season.
The Man formerly known on SUSIE as Poolie Exile
Give my story a read - Now I would walk 500 miles...

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2025-26: February Preview


https://i.postimg.cc/R0hGVfGZ/PNEFC-Feb2026-Fixtures.png

Here we have another five game span which will leave us with ten to play once it is over and done with.

We begin February with an away trip to South East London and the New Den to face Millwall. This is an uncompromising fixture for us to have on and off the pitch as it is not the easiest place to get results. Their fans make their stadium a ground that many a team fears, and we know that we have to be at our best to get a result. If we can come away with something then that will be a bonus indeed as we push on for promotion back to the Premier League.

The only midweek game in February sees mid-table Norwich at Deepdale. They're a team that I was personally expecting to be in the promotion mix even if the media thought they would be where they are at the moment. In Adam Idah, they have a striker who knows where the net (17 times so far this season) and we hope we can keep him quiet for a second time this season and he has another blank day at the office.

Bottom of the table Brentford host us after the Norwich game, a team that needs to really pick up points sooner rather than later otherwise they'll be playing League One football again next season. At the start of February, they have just one win this season to their name. Let's hope that we don't add to that statistic for sure. It's the proverbial banana skin in the road which we need to avoid.

The month finishes with back to back home games here at Deepdale. First up is a local derby against Blackburn Rovers, a team that is firmly in the promotion race. We grabbed a 2-2 draw at Ewood earlier this campaign thanks to a late equaliser from skipper Jules Koundé so hopefully we can turn that into a win this time out in front of what I expect will be a large crowd, maybe even a sell out. Then we finish February with Reading in town. They're one of only two teams to have handed us a defeat in the Championship this season when we failed to perform as well as I know we can at the Madejski Stadium. What made that worse, it was also live on television. I sense some retribution is in order.

If we can again do well in these five games, that's more steps to the title. But as ever, we're taking each game as it comes as we close in.
The Man formerly known on SUSIE as Poolie Exile
Give my story a read - Now I would walk 500 miles...

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2025-26 Transfer Activity (Window 2)


Well the second window is now closed,and this is a summary of our dealings since the closing of that first window.

In:
https://i.postimg.cc/L5W2wjyg/PNEFC-Transfers-Window2-202526-1.png

We only made one signing since the closing of the first window, and that was the free transfer signing of German midfielder Jonas Bächle. However, we did try to sign others once the window was opened again but for some reason we were getting quoted what we felt was ridiclous fees for players, an example being West Brom's new Romanian goalkeeper Ionut Radu whom they signed for £1.8 million initially (£2.8 million with add-ons eventually) yet when we made an enquiry then they were asking for £5 million! Guess this is a consequence of us being so successful this season.

We also tried to bring a highly coveted young Czech striker to the club and even offered more money to his club than what Bournemouth (who did sign him) did. But they weren't interested in our offer despite offering better incentives for them and the player. We're going to have to strengthen in the summer for sure but that depends on how much we have to spend, one of the targets will be a new first choice keeper as Alireza Beiranvand is not getting any younger. I also have my eye on a new left-back and if possible, a second loan spell for Ethan Ampadu but we will have to wait and see what develops.

Out:
https://i.postimg.cc/HsLttbD4/PNEFC-Transfers-Window2-202526-2.png

Four transfers out and all on loan deals. Promising Irish midfielder Jonny Hunt is the first up, he's on a season long loan to SPL side St Mirren and is doing okay. Depending how this goes then we will look at his position again in the summer, but he's still a way off the first team at the moment. Next to leave was Harrison Kirby who has joined League One side Notts County. However the Magpies have not used him at all since his signing, and if this doesn't improve then I'm going to think about recalling him back here. Some clubs don't understand the meaning of the loan market especially when they said they saw him as a key player.

A day after the Kirby transfer, I allowed Reo Griffiths to move to France and join Bordeaux until the end of the season. With Albanian Brian banging in the goals as first choice striker and me seeing Moise Kean as his back up, I couldn't guarantee Griffiths a regular place in the side at the moment. He probably might still have a future here when he comes back but I might just cash in if there are any interested parties. He's not a Premier League starter unfortunately. The final loanee out of the door was back up left-back Richard Tipple who moved to another League One side in Swansea City. "Tipps" loan deal has a recall clause in it though should our first choice Cristiàn Cuevas gets injured for a prolonged absence. We weren't looking to let him leave without it.

The good thing is Jules Koundé signed a new deal and dropped his wanting to leave demand as a result. We also gave new deals to Albanian Brian (Brijan Ibrahimi) and Charly Musonda (who accepted his without a release clause this time) and both were only willing to snatch the pen out of my hand and sign. Connor Roberts, Kean, Ronaldo Vieira and Ollie Watkins still want out but when we're in the Premier League I'm hoping these guys might have a rethink. I looked to try and get Giulio Maggiore a move back to Italy but he got injured a few days before the window closed so that put pay to that. Third choice goalkeeper James Montgomery also wanted a move but there were no takers, with him in contract until the summer of 2028 then he's either going to have accept he's going to become a bit part (and I mean a real bit part player) player whose first team chances will be few and far between or we agree on releasing him by mutual consent..
The Man formerly known on SUSIE as Poolie Exile
Give my story a read - Now I would walk 500 miles...

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February 2026 Review


Welcome to the review of February's five game span.

https://i.postimg.cc/WbqFt04W/PNEFC-202526-Game32.png
7 February 2026

Least said the better about this game, it was absolute duller than any ditchwater: a total snoozefest for the 14,000 odd fans inside the New Den on a wet Saturday afternoon. Both sides had chances but both sides equally couldn't finish their dinner never mind chances in front of goal. It was that bad that I felt bad, and offered to reimburse the visiting fans their monies back for the showing they had seen but the chairman told me not to be too daft. If we continue to play like this then we're going to pick more defeats than wins, and collapse worse than dear old Devon Loch in the 1956 Grand National.

Team: Beiranvand; Konsa, Koundé ©, Ampadu, Cuevas; Ronaldo Vieira; Palmer, Uribe; Harrison, Kean; Ibrahimi. Substitutes: Bächle (for Uribe 71), Vukcevic (for Ronaldo Vieira 71), Grant, Jääskeläinen, Crompton, Ferguson, Leogal.
Goalscorers: None
Booked: Koundé (11)
Man of the Match: James Newell (Millwall)
Attendance: 14,357 (954 Preston)


https://i.postimg.cc/nhPFZdyS/PNEFC-202526-Game33.png
10 February 2026

After the dull game in South East London, the team flexed their muscles to recover from an early shock to put the Canaries well and truly to flight in a first half goal blitz that lasted just eight minutes and completely turned this game right on its head. Norwich took the lead after just 10 minutes when we nodded off at a free-kick routine and winger Joe Bryan had the easiest tap in at the far post. We levelled after 23 minutes to start a collapse by Norwich that some wag after the game likened to watching the England cricket team in Australia when Shane Warne and Glenn McGrath were in their pomp. That equaliser came when Jack Harrison was sent clear down the right and his low cross was turned in at the near post by Mateus Uribe for the Colombian's seventh of the season. We went ahead two minutes later, another Harrison low cross but this time finished by Kasey Palmer for his seventh of the season as well.

With the rain continuing to fall, the flood of goals into the Norwich net remained unabated as we scored a third in the 27th minute. Some great vision from Moise Kean spotted the run by Harrison through the heart of the visiting defence and he strode to finish with aplomb. We added our fourth in the 31st minute to really put the Canaries to the sword when a throw from Connor Roberts was flicked on by Brijan Ibrahimi for Uribe to nip in and poke home his eighth of the campaign; and second of the afternoon. It was only a matter of time that we would score a fifth and that came in the 70th minute when a deep cross from Cristiàn Cuevas was volleyed home by Harrison for his 11th of the season. Northern Irish Under-21 skipper Adam Hazard scored a second Norwich goal with nine minutes to go but that was just purely consolation for the away side whose top scorer Adam Idah was again subdued by our defence.

Team: Beiranvand; Roberts, Koundé ©, Ampadu, Cuevas; Ronaldo Vieira; Palmer, Uribe; Harrison, Kean; Ibrahimi. Substitutes: Vukcevic (for Ronaldo Vieira 67), Leogal (for Ibrahimi 71), Freuler (for Palmer 81), Konsa, Jääskeläinen, Crompton, Ferguson.
Goalscorers: Uribe (23, 31), Palmer (25), Harrison (31, 70)
Booked: Roberts (2), Cuevas (10)
Man of the Match: Jack Harrison (Preston North End)
Attendance: 15,939 (1768 away)


https://i.postimg.cc/C5R2YNbY/PNEFC-202526-Game34.png
14 February 2026

There was to be no love shown by us on Valentine's Day as three goals in the second half destroyed bottom of the table Brentford to push them ever closer to the drop whilst boosting our own aspirations at the top of the table. The biggest surprise was that it took us 38 minutes to open the scoring, Ronaldo Vieira scoring his third of the season and first goal since August when he picked up a touch from Ibrahimi to cut inside and then blast a shot into the top corner. Two goals in a minute early in the second half drew the sting out of the Bees, the first in the 52nd minute when Andrew Ferguson (in for food poisoning victim Harrison) crossed from the right and Ibrahimi produced an exquisite volley into the far corner. It was Albanian Brian's 16th of the season.

A minute later, we had our third. A cross from the left this time from Cuevas, and although Ibrahimi rattled the crossbar with his header, Kean poached home his 11th of the season. The Italian would complete the demolition job with six minutes to go, another Cuevas cross and although he (Kean) headed against the bar initially, another poacher's finish secured him goal number 12 for the campaign and ensure a happy trip back from West London. Will Jääskeläinen had nothing to do really on his latest start and could have gone home for a s**t, shave and haircut such was the solid performance by those in front of him.

Team: Jääskeläinen; Roberts, Koundé ©. Ampadu, Cuevas; Ronaldo Vieira; Palmer, Uribe; Ferguson, Kean; Ibrahimi. Substitutes: Vukcevic (for Palmer 52), Freuler (for Uribe 62), Leogal (for Ibrahimi 69), Konsa, Beiranvand, Crompton, Watkins.
Goalscorers: Ronaldo Vieira (38), Ibrahimi (52), Kean (53, 84)
Booked: Roberts (12)
Man of the Match: Moise Kean (Preston North End)
Attendance: 13,161 (954 Preston)


https://i.postimg.cc/8C285xPc/PNEFC-202526-Game35.png
21 February 2026

Blackburn Rovers came into this local derby at a sold out Deepdale as our nearest challengers, OK they were 19 points adrift, but they were left floundering as we produced the kind of performance that you would associate with a team that are champions elect. The opener came on the half hour and what a peach of a strike it was from Palmer who arrowed in a direct free kick into the top corner for his eighth of the season; leaving Rovers keeper Christian Walton grasping thin air, With 19 minutes to go, we doubled our advantage. Persistence was the key here, and it was finished by a superb strike into the roof of the net by the returning Harrison. Goal number 12 for the season for the right inside forward. Ben Brereton scored his league leading 20th of the season with a scruffy finish to ensure a nail-biting final 12 minutes but any hope they had went with our third goal.

That came two minutes after Brereton's strike when a slide rule pass from Palmer was straight into the path of Harrison who netted his second of the match and 13th of the campaign with yet another cool and composed finish.

Team: Beiranvand; Roberts, Koundé ©, Ampadu, Cuevas; Ronaldo Vieira; Palmer, Uribe; Harrison, Kean; Ibrahimi. Substitutes: Freuler (for Ronaldo Vieira 16), Musonda (for Kean 73), Crompton (for Koundé 78), Konsa, Jääskeläinen, Vukcevic, Ferguson.
Goalscorers: Palmer (30), Harrison (71, 80)
Man of the Match: Kasey Palmer (Preston North End)
Attendance: 20,830 (1041 away) - SOLD OUT


https://i.postimg.cc/xTjbt1Lv/PNEFC-202526-Game36.png
28 February 2026

We finished February with a six goal thriller against Reading, but it was a game we threw away to be honest as we conceded twice in the final 19 minutes to hand the Royals a point which to be honest they did deserve in all essence. They opened the scoring ten minutes from half time when full back Eduard Sobol was the first onto a loose ball to lash it beyond Alireza Beiranvand and stun the home crowd. The hairdryer came out again at the interval and we responded remarkably with three goals in five minutes. The first came three minutes after the restart, Harrison teeing up Kean who marked his 26th birthday with his 14th of the season. Three minutes later, a dangerous low cross from Charly Musonda was poked into the net by Harrison for his 14th of the season.

We extended it further in the 53rd minute when Roberts crossed for Palmer to stab in his ninth of the season from close range, and you would have thought that there was going to be no way back for Reading after that. Erm, wrong! They absolutely battered us after that and made things interesting when Balkenende headed in his first ever Royals goal in the 71st minute. They continued to push us back in a way we had not experienced before, and the dam broke with the final kick of the game in the fifth minute of time added on. We failed to clear our lines which led to former Celtic striker and current Republic of Ireland internationalist Shane Zambra poaching in their equaliser. A thrilling end to a thrilling game.

Team: Beiranvand; Roberts, Koundé ©, Konsa, Cuevas; Ronaldo Vieira; Palmer, Uribe; Harrison, Musonda; Kean. Substitutes: Vukcevic (for Uribe 69), Watkins (for Musonda 80), Ferguson (for Kean 85), Grant, Jääskeläinen, Freuler, Crompton.
Goalscorers: Kean (48), Harrison (51), Palmer (53)
Man of the Match: Jack Harrison (Preston North End)
Attendance: 19,056 (707 away)

So February finishes with this as the standings:

https://i.postimg.cc/jjS3z7hG/PNEFC-Table-End-Feb2026.png

Analysis:
An unbeaten month although we could have suffered a defeat from either Millwall or Reading, Reading have been the best we have faced this season and it's no surprise that they have moved into the second automatic promotion spot. That said, there seems to be a bit of a dogfight for that spot with just three points separating Reading in that second spot to seventh placed Leeds United. It's possibly going to go right down to the wire to see who gets into the Premier League automatically and which sides are going to have to face the drama of the play offs. Mathematically we need just one win to be assured a play off spot, and eight points to win the title if everything goes right. March is going to be an important month.

We came out of the transfer window unscathed, not losing any of our star players. Ollie Watkins is the latest to drop his wanting to leave demands but he wants a run in the side so I might just do this in the next few games and have Musonda ready to throw on when we need him. That said, apparently Messers. Roberts, Kean and Vieira still want away and are going to try and force a move each out of Deepdale. They might change that once Jules Koundé lifts that trophy though, but we'll plan for replacements anyway. No use in standing still, eh? Third choice keeper James Montgomery finally got his wish in the end, I managed to get him a loan move to National League Solihull Moors with a nominal fee to sign him permanently should they so wish.

All in all, things are still looking good for us.


The Man formerly known on SUSIE as Poolie Exile
Give my story a read - Now I would walk 500 miles...

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https://i.postimg.cc/5t08q4h1/Sky-Bet-Championship.jpg

February 2026 Award Winners


After the game reviews, now to see who won on the latest awards.

Manager of the Month:
https://i.postimg.cc/br2Y8jzL/SBCH-MOTM-Feb2026.png
No manager had a great record in February, everyone seemed to be out to beat the other. But who's complaining at a fourth monthly award, certainly not me.

Player of the Month:
https://i.postimg.cc/nV6BmFQF/SBCH-POTM-Feb2026.png
The former AC Milan talent is certainly lighting up The Hawthorns with some stellar performances. A free transfer signing as well..bargain!

Young Player of the Month:
https://i.postimg.cc/YSnmCMHw/SBCH-YPOTM-Feb2026.png
Looked decent when we played the 'Boro earlier in the season, likes to get forward and support his attack. Is on loan from Southampton.

Goal of the Month:
https://i.postimg.cc/yd2g0jxQ/SBCH-GOTM-Feb2026.png
The winner is Jon Allen from Birmingham City for a strike against Ipswich, that said he was kept very quiet from shooting against us when we played the Blues.
The Man formerly known on SUSIE as Poolie Exile
Give my story a read - Now I would walk 500 miles...

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https://i.postimg.cc/W4rQqPV8/Preston-North-End-Logo.png

2025-26: March Preview


https://i.postimg.cc/C5f82t9p/PNEFC-Mar2026-Fixtures.png

Just a short four game span for March as we hone in on the end of the season.

We begin March, knowing that we could clinch the title and promotion this month, with a trip to the Stadium of Light to face my boyhood club Sunderland. They've improved since the turn of the year and are now almost safe in the Championship for another season. Not without disposing of another manager though. Former Manchester United, Arsenal and England striker Danny Welbeck was recruited from my old club Tranmere (where they're struggling to avoid an instant relegation) to replace Paul Doswell who had been in charge for just 336 days! Look what you could have had if you had taken my application seriously when you got rid of Derek McInnes, aye right! We crushed them 4-0 at Deepdale this season, live on television, so even though it won't please the family: I'll take something similar but if we win 1-0 with a goal in the last minute then that'll be all good as well.

One midweek game again, and this sees Bristol City make the long journey north. Like Sunderland, three days previous, they appear to be safe from the drop but we need more points to ensure we inch closer towards the Premier League which is going to happen sooner rather than later. A War of the Roses then follows as we head over the Pennines to the John Smith's Stadium to ensure we have more bite than those Terriers. If we have won our last two games then we could easily be celebrating the title and promotion if we take maximum points in West Yorkshire. They're on the fringes of the promotion race so will be right up for it. This could be a really tough game for us, probably the toughest of the four.

After no game in the third week, we finish the month with a home game against Nottingham Forest. Forest are hoping to finish their season with a flourish and with a bit of luck going their way, could make the play-offs but this will be dependent on those above messing up as well. We sneaked a 2-2 at the City Ground in October thanks to a late equaliser which goes to show how much they have to be respected. They will represent yet another tough encounter, and we will have to be on our best form to take the points off them even though it is on home ground.

Will this be the month? Let's wait and see...


The Man formerly known on SUSIE as Poolie Exile
Give my story a read - Now I would walk 500 miles...

https://i.postimg.cc/3r4p65Qz/lisbonlionssig.png
Awesome this mate. Can't wait to see you tear the prem a new one!!
Thanks @bigmattb28 - I think it will be hard to rip the Premier League apart with Preston but stranger things can happen. If not Preston, maybe someone else...reputation is heading in the right direction for me to attract the attentions of bigger clubs. We shall see mate.
https://i.postimg.cc/5t08q4h1/Sky-Bet-Championship.jpg
March 2026 Review (Part One)


Here is the review of March's matches, will this be the month when champagne corks will be popping in Preston?

https://i.postimg.cc/mZN6MYvg/PNEFC-202526-Game37.png
7 March 2026

We began the penultimate full month with our destiny still firmly in our own hands, with potentially one win away from securing a return to the Premier League and the big teams. The first game of that month saw us head to the Stadium of Light to face Sunderland. As promised I decided to give Ollie Watkins a run on the left wing with Charly Musonda given a well needed rest and Moise Kean was given the job of leading the line as Albanian Brian was feeling a bit jaded. The move to push Kean into the central striker's role had an early effect as the Italian put us ahead after just four minutes as he latched onto a Connor Roberts ball forward and confidently finished with a shot into the far corner beyond Lumley for his 14th of the season. The home side levelled just before half time when Roberts turned villain this time, conceding a penalty for a robust challenge on Bowler. Lynden Gooch stepped up to place his kick from twelve yards right in the bottom corner despite Will Jääskeläinen, given another chance to show what he can do, going the right way.

We regained the lead eight minutes after the restart. A deep cross to the back post from the creative genius that is Jack Harrison; saw Watkins pull away from his marker and then plant a header into the roof of the net for his third of a stop-start season. Could we kick on and put away our plucky hosts now? Alas not, as Sunderland equalised for a second time with twenty minutes to go. They fooled us with a free kick routine as we were expecting Gooch to deliver it into the area. Instead Gooch played it across to Connor Hards who then switched it to right-back Josh Emmanuel, and the one time Ipswich Town trainee drilled in a shot from the edge of the area: Jääskeläinen had no chance. Neither side could get a winner after that, and we shook hands on a draw. With results elsewhere taking advantage of this slight stutter, we knew promotion now would be a minimum of four points away now.

Team: Jääskeläinen; Roberts, Koundé ©, Ampadu, Cuevas; Ronaldo Vieira; Palmer, Uribe; Harrison, Watkins; Kean. Substitutes: Konsa (for Cuevas 52), Musonda (for Palmer 62), Ibrahimi (for Harrison 73), Beiranvand, Crompton, Vukcevic, Ferguson.
Goalscorers: Kean (4), Watkins (54)
Booked: Kean (17), Ampadu (32)
Man of the Match: Josh Emmanuel (Sunderland)
Attendance: 31,837 (1767 Preston)

https://i.postimg.cc/vm2xCNxZ/PNEFC-202526-Game38.png
Tuesday 10 March 2026

Our second game in March was a home game against a Bristol City side that have really underachieved this season, and in need of a few points to confirm their place in Championship for another season. They obviously came north with a point to prove and stunned us when stalwart central defender Zak Vyner headed them into a 14th minute lead. That was certainly not in the script for sure. Were we to have a late season wobble? Well, half time came and we were still 1-0 down so out came the hairdryer treatment once more. It did the trick though as the team went about their business in that second half with the attitude of a team wanting to get promoted. The equalising goal came in the 53rd minute when once more Harrison created the chance with a low cross that the restored Brijan Ibrahimi steered into the far corner despite Vyner's close attentions. It was the 17th goal of the season for Albanian Brian.

Two goals in a minute put the game to bed and as a result secured our 27th win of the season despite not playing at our best. The first came in the 73rd minute, Kean scoring for the second successive game at the second attempt after his initial shot following a Cristiàn Cuevas corner had been blocked. Then almost straight from the restart, we netted our third and decisive goal in this game. Cuevas escaping down the left wing and then sweeping in a cross that Nikola Vukcevic headed in from six yards out for his fifth of the campaign. One more point needed!

Team: Beiranvand; Roberts, Koundé ©, Konsa, Cuevas; Ronaldo Vieira; Palmer, Uribe; Harrison, Watkins; Ibrahimi. Substitutes: Kean (for Watkins 63), Vukcevic (for Uribe 70), Ampadu (for Ronaldo Vieira 78), Jääskeläinen, Crompton, Musonda, Ferguson.
Goalscorers: Ibrahimi (53), Kean (73), Vukcevic (74)
Booked: Ronaldo Vieira (60)
Man of the Match: Zak Vyner (Bristol City)
Attendance: 15,204 (647 away)

https://i.postimg.cc/Vv8LMMHX/PNEFC-202526-Game39.png
Saturday 21 March 2026

After yet another international break which saw Vukcevic gain his 100th cap for Montenegro we headed across the Pennines and to the John Smith's Stadium knowing full well that one point would secure our place in the Premier League for next season. Well it certainly again didn't look that way when the Terriers took the lead in the 17th minute, Campos skinning two of our players down the left before delivering in a cross which was met by an unstoppable volley right into the top corner from Croatian Antonio Marin that no keeper, never mind Alireza Beiranvand, would have saved.

We were creating the majority of the chances despite Huddersfield having the better of the possession. Eventually we would have to get back on terms, and that we did three minutes after half time. Ibrahimi hoisted a high ball into the penalty area from just inside the Terriers half, and Harrison went down under the challenge of Ryan Corrigan. Referee Stuart Attwell had no doubts in awarding the spot kick. Ibrahimi stepped up forth, and confidently sent the keeper the wrong way for his 18th of the season which have all ironically come in the league. Neither side could break through after that but at 4:51pm the final shrill of the whistle sounded and it meant for 1227 visiting fans, the players and myself:

https://i.postimg.cc/Pq7MtfVg/PNEFC-202526-Promotion.png

WE ARE GOING UP!

Team:Beiranvand; Roberts, Koundé ©, Ampadu, Cuevas; Ronaldo Vieira; Palmer, Vukcevic; Harrison, Watkins; Ibrahimi. Substitutes: Kean (for Watkins 59), Musonda (for Cuevas 70), Uribe (for Palmer 84), Jääskeläinen, Konsa, Crompton, Ferguson.
Goalscorer: Ibrahimi (pen 48)
Man of the Match: Antonio Marin (Huddersfield Town)
Attendance: 20,871 (1227 Preston)

A few days later this result kinda happened, and it had significant implications here in Preston:

https://i.postimg.cc/BnXgR1MT/202526-Champions-Result.png

The implication? Because Reading lost, it meant we were now just promoted but also as the CHAMPIONS of the Sky Bet Championship for 2025-26! Yet another Championship to add to my haul of title wins.

https://i.postimg.cc/Y9ZGGh1H/PNEFC-202526-Game40.png
Saturday 28 March 2026

After the euphoria of Tuesday night when we were crowned as Champions without kicking a ball, winning it on St. Patrick's Day made it more sweeter for me and ensured the Guinness certainly did flow no end, we entertained Nottingham Forest at Deepdale. However, the crowd was well under the sell out figure that the chairman had been hoping for once the title had been clinched. Forest came into the match well in form but to be honest, they were a damb squib as they created just three chances in ninety minutes despite controlling the possession. The game itself was nothing much to report about either, which summed up this month, as we struggled to penetrate their goal. As it was, we endured a goalless draw for the second time this season (Millwall away being the other) and a fourth league game this season where our prolific firepower failed to net a single strike,

Team:Beiranvand; Roberts, Koundé ©, Ampadu, Cuevas; Ronaldo Vieira; Palmer, Vukcevic; Harrison, Watkins; Ibrahimi. Substitutes: Uribe (for Vukcevic 55), Kean (for Watkins 69), Ferguson (for Ibrahimi 90), Jääskeläinen, Konsa, Grant, Bächle.
Goalscorers: None
Man of the Match: Jukes Koundé (Preston North End)
Attendance: 17,235 (4143 away)
The Man formerly known on SUSIE as Poolie Exile
Give my story a read - Now I would walk 500 miles...

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March 2026 Review (Part Two)


So this is how the table stands at the end of March:

https://i.postimg.cc/0yDLh3td/PNEFC-Table-End-Mar2026.png

Analysis:
Not the best month for us results wise, even if we did remain unbeaten throughout. The huge news is that we are now promoted and we did it without kicking a ball in anger. Safe to say, at the moment Famara Diédhiou is the most popular Senegalese person in East Lancashire after his 12th goal of this current campaign. We have been consistent all season and soon as we hit the front then I had the belief that we would be able to stay there or thereabouts in the promotion mix. The squad seems to have an understanding very remiscent of some of my previous sides, and there are goals everywhere. The only outfield players not to score this season so far are defenders Connor Roberts and Ezri Konsa, but they've played an important part in our success nevertheless.

Now we can enjoy the last 6 games with the pressure and expectation firmly turned off, but I'm a manager that doesn't want to stand still and rest of my proverbial laurels so to speak. We're just eight points shy of 100 points which is always a great achievement to have, but four points will be create a new club record for points created. Two more wins will be another record in what is proving to be a memorable campaign. However the hard work now begins in assembling a squad good enough to survive in the Premier League which means I might have to sell a few and bring in players who can help us achieve that objective, I'm hoping for a larger transfer budget to do this, so the scouts are certainly going to be busy for sure.

My first taste of the Premier League is around the corner. But who's gonna join us in that promised land?
The Man formerly known on SUSIE as Poolie Exile
Give my story a read - Now I would walk 500 miles...

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March 2026 Award Winners


After the game reviews, now to see who won on the latest awards.

Manager of the Month:
https://i.postimg.cc/PxbSfnGT/SBCH-MOTM-Mar2026.png
Congratulations to "Harry" Potter on winning this award, a 100 per cent record in March as Leeds make a late charge to get that second automatic promotion slot.

Player of the Month:
https://i.postimg.cc/j5hh06Nj/SBCH-POTM-Mar2026.png
Once a highly rated youngster signed by Manchester City but only made 4 appearances in nine seasons at the Etihad. Joined Leeds on a free in the summer after impressing on loan at Rangers in 2024-25 and has continued in the same vein but we kept him quiet!

Young Player of the Month:
https://i.postimg.cc/7PmNKVws/SBCH-YPOTM-Mar2026.png
A young winger on loan from Manchester United, joined the Villa in February until the end of the season. This is his second spell on loan at Villa Park, having made 13 appearances (scoring 4 times) in a similar spell last season and ironically at around the same time in the season too.

Goal of the Month:
https://i.postimg.cc/CKTCRrs1/SBCH-GOTM-Mar2026.png
The winner for March is Leeds' Nedim Bajrami who is finally wowing the Elland Road faithful with performances that caused Lyon to pay £10.75 million for him in 2019. Is a current Macedonian internationalist despite coming through the ranks of Grasshoppers Zurich, Swiss being his second nationality.
The Man formerly known on SUSIE as Poolie Exile
Give my story a read - Now I would walk 500 miles...

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https://i.postimg.cc/W4rQqPV8/Preston-North-End-Logo.png

2025-26: April and May Preview


https://i.postimg.cc/13C48vhF/PNEFC-Apr-May2026-Fixtures.png

So we have the final six games of the season before we move up to the Premier League.

We begin this spell with a trip to the Riverside Stadium on the banks of the Tees to face a Middlesbrough side that still harbours hope that they can take the second promotion. They have the meanest defence in the Championship this season but we stuck three past them in a second half showing back in November. Something similar will be just as nice on Easter Saturday afternoon. Easter Tuesday sees us back on home turf as we host Aston Villa who are trying to force their way in the play off picture as we speak, we shared an entertaining 2-2 draw in the Second City so this will be equally as hard as the game at Middlesbrough. If we are not careful, we could easily lose one if not both.

A trip to West London and the compact confines of Loftus Road follows the Villa game. QPR have been one of the biggest surprises this season, having being tipped by the pundits to finish just outside the relegation zone. They were second in the table when we played them earlier on in the season, but we produced a superb performance that day to trounce them 4-1, helped no end by three first half goals in 12 minutes! It won't be an easy place to get a result but we can do it if we put our collective minds to it again. Charlton Athletic then follow in Deepdale's penultimate league game of the season and they're still in the relegation spots as we begin April. A home win will be expected by all and sundry.

The final away game of the season sees us travel to East Anglia and Portman Road to face Ipswich Town whose pitch always seems to look immaculate whatever time of the year it is. It's a winnable game for us but equally one that could see us come unstuck in as well. We need to turn in a performance. The season concludes with a visit from Bolton Wanderers in our only game in May, we have to maintain those bragging rights.

Can we create more history? You can be guaranteed we will be giving it our best shot as always.
The Man formerly known on SUSIE as Poolie Exile
Give my story a read - Now I would walk 500 miles...

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April 2026 Award Winners


After the game reviews, now to see who won on the latest awards.

Manager of the Month:
https://i.postimg.cc/sDgh9zbQ/SBCH-MOTM-Apr2026.png
Experienced Italian who had an ill fated spell at Watford in 2017, has managed clubs such as Inter Milan and Napoli in his homeland. By the way, I finished third this month. Hopefully I'll get the Manager of the Year to crown the season off.

Player of the Month:
https://i.postimg.cc/MpcfND6z/SBCH-POTM-Apr2026.png
Well done Kasey! He's been sensational since grabbing his place back in the side and has chipped in with double figures for goals as well so really deserves the new contract we've offered him. Hopefully he will sign it. Our own Ollie Watkins finished second in the same award.

Young Player of the Month:
https://i.postimg.cc/HnsV20vD/SBCH-YPOTM-Apr2026.png
Second successive award for the Villain on loan from the Red Devils. Tormented us in our league game, and scored too. Could be one to keep an eye on.

Goal of the Month:
https://i.postimg.cc/nrPcGyQB/SBCH-GOTM-Apr2026.png
Winner was Bolton's left winger Charlie Dowling with a long range free-kick which beat Ollie's dipping effort against the 'Boro to the award. Surprised Kasey's curling free-kicks didn't get a mention though.
The Man formerly known on SUSIE as Poolie Exile
Give my story a read - Now I would walk 500 miles...

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https://i.postimg.cc/5t08q4h1/Sky-Bet-Championship.jpg
April and May 2026 Review (Part One)


Here is the review of the first three matches which conclude another season, can we finish it on a winning note to go along with the newly won title?


https://i.postimg.cc/6Qj29rnp/PNEFC-202526-Game41.png
Saturday 4 April 2026

Middlesbrough hosted us on the first Saturday in April, with their proud mean defence and still harbouring dreams of getting back into the Premier League. A 30000 plus crowd packed itself into the Riverside Stadium to see if they could upset the newly crowned Champions, and they were dancing with delight when top scorer David Smith (on loan from Manchester United) fired them into a third minute lead with his 22nd goal of the season. But despite having 64% possession, that was about as good as it got for the Smoggies. We levelled seven minutes later, when a free kick to the back post from Kasey Palmer was volleyed home by unmarked skipper Jules Koundé for his 6th of the season. Then that mean defence was completely blown away with three goals in just eight minutes to put us in a commanding 4-1 lead at half time which they never recovered from.

The lead was taken on the half hour. Jack Harrison sent our own top scorer Brijan Ibrahimi away down the right, and Albanian Brian then showed that there's more to his game than scoring goals as he weighted a low cross into Ollie Watkins who side footed home his fourth of the season from six yards out. Two minutes later, we were 3-1 to the good. Watkins returning the favour for Ibrahimi whose low shot found the net with a wee bit of help from the post, goal number 19 for Albanian Brian in his best ever season as a professional. But the best was yet to come, and it arrived seven minutes before the interval. Some patient build up play from the team saw the ball land at the feet of Watkins who scored the goal of the game with a superb dipping effort that gave Connor Ripley in the 'Boro goal no chance whatsoever. A second of the game for the former Brentford man and fifth of the season. Game done with, and we saw the second half out without any further alarms.

Team: Beiranvand; Roberts, Koundé ©, Ampadu, Cuevas; Ronaldo Vieira; Uribe, Palmer; Harrison, Watkins, Ibrahimi. Substitutes: Vukcevic (for Ronaldo Vieira 63), Kean (for Ibrahimi 69), Konsa, Jääskeläinen, Grant, Ferguson, Bächle.
Goalscorers: Koundé (10), Watkins (30, 38), Ibrahimi (32)
Man of the Match: Ollie Watkins (Preston North End)
Attendance: 30,122 (1700 Preston)


https://i.postimg.cc/qqMpgSrf/PNEFC-202526-Game42.png
Tuesday 7 April 2026

Our final midweek game of the season saw us host an improved Aston Villa at Deepdale, having shared a 2-2 draw in the Second City back in November. They like, Middlesbrough a few days beforehand, still fancied their chances of getting back into the Premier League and were in no mood to bow down to us. This was typified when goals from Conor Hourihane in the 11th minute and impressive loan winger Niall Adams in the 39th had then 2-0 ahead at the break, and deservedly so. They had completely owned us in those first 45. Once more I let rip in the dressing room with the hairdryer treatment, and questioned the team's passion. Once more they responded, none more than right-back Ezri Konsa who took it up on himself to drive the team on.

It was Konsa who created both of our goals. In the 56th minute, he whipped in a low ball that looked like it would be going into the net but Moise Kean being the typical striker, took the goal away from the defender with a tap in from almost on the goal line. 16th of the season for the Italian. The comeback was completed in the 72nd minute thanks to another superb cross by Konsa, this time converted by young Delroy Leogal. The youngster's first ever senior goal and what a proud moment for him. I was so made up for the young kid, and it was only his fourth appearance for the first team. Neither side could break through after that, and we shared a second 2-2 draw of the campaign with Paul Coutts' men.

Team: Beiranvand; Konsa, Koundé ©, Ampadu, Cuevas; Ronaldo Vieira, Palmer, Uribe, Harrison, Watkins, Kean. Substitutes: Leogal (for Harrison 70), Bächle (for Uribe 72), Roberts, Jääskeläinen, Grant, Vukcevic, Ibrahimi.
Goalscorers: Kean (56), Leogal (72)
Man of the Match: Conor Hourihane (Aston Villa)
Attendance: 16,880 (1041 away)


https://i.postimg.cc/qqzMjS5s/PNEFC-202526-Game43.png
Saturday 11 April 2026

Once more we had to come from two goals behind to take a point in this trip to West London against the R's. We made an horrendous start, and were 2-0 behind after just quarter of an hour thanks to a brace of goals from Eberechi Eze. I questioned the character of the team, and from the side line demanded more passion from them to show their hosts really what they are made of. We found a way back into the game and made it 2-1 in the 37th minute with a superb free-kick curled home by Palmer after Ibrahimi (on for an injured Kean) had been fouled by Read 20 odd yards out. It was Kasey's 10th of the season, and it was just the lift we needed. Then just as the fourth official was going to appear with their board, we were level in the final minute of a tremendous first half. Harrison whipped in a dangerous free kick from wide on the right, and Rangers couldn't clear their lines so much so that when the ball came to Watkins: the inside forward curled in a beautifully placed effort out of the reach of former North End keeper Declan Rudd. Ollie's 6th of the season, and fourth in his last seven appearances.

Both sides pushed for a winner after that but couldn't breach the other's defence. I suppose a draw was about fair though even though we created twice as many chances as our hosts, now if we had not had the goddamn awful opening 15 minutes....

Team: Beiranvand; Konsa, Koundé ©, Ampadu, Cuevas; Ronaldo Vieira; Palmer, Uribe; Harrison, Watkins, Kean. Substitutes: Ibrahimi (for Kean 36), Roberts (for Cuevas 55), Vukcevic (for Ronaldo Vieira 75), Jääskeläinen, Grant, Ferguson, Bächle.
Goalscorers: Palmer (37), Watkins (45)
Booked: Ampadu (90+4)
Man of the Match: Eberechi Eze (Queens Park Rangers)
Attendance: 16,869 (795 Preston)
The Man formerly known on SUSIE as Poolie Exile
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Lilywhites make double swoop

https://i.postimg.cc/7LgQCNqw/schendelaar.jpg

13 April 2026

Mark Duell today announced the first two new signings made by the Club as they get ready for a return to the Premier League next season.

Joining North End are Dutch goalkeeper Jasper Schendelaar, and English left back Thomas Eaton. Both players are the same age, 25, and have been on Duell's radar for a while. Schendelaar will be joining us for a initial fee of £1.3 million (rising to £1.8 million with appearance add-ons) from Dutch Eredivisie side AZ Alkmaar where he has been first choice this season, whilst Eaton has been signed for just £150,000 from Crystal Palace. The manager had this to say about his new signings:

"I'm pleased today to announce that terms have been agreed for us to bring in two new players to the club this summer.

Jasper (Schendelaar) is one of the best young goalkeepers in Holland and to attract him here is a terrific coup for us. He's been a stand out for AZ this season and if we push him enough then he has more than enough ability about him to make the Dutch national side. He ticks all the boxes I was looking for when looking for a new quality keeper to bring in this summer. Thomas has impressed me whilst on loan to Aston Villa this season, and is a very dependable left sided full back which was also high on my requirements. To get him for such a low fee could be the bargain of the next window.

Both players are just 25, and have potientially great careers ahead of them. They will not be the only two new faces in the summer, we will be looking at others as we plan to have a squad that is good enough to stay up in our next tests. That said, we will not pay ridiclous money for players, we will spend whatever we feel is the correct valuation in our eyes and not be held to ransom by other clubs and put ourselves in financial jeopardy otherwise.

I'm looking forward to working with them both."
.
Schendelaar has penned a five year contract, whilst Eaton has penned a three year deal. Show your support for our new signings by contacting us here at the Club using the hashtags #WelcomeSchendelaar and #WelcomeEaton. Both players will officially join North End on 9 June 2026 and we will bring you exclusive interviews that day with them.
The Man formerly known on SUSIE as Poolie Exile
Give my story a read - Now I would walk 500 miles...

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April and May 2026 Review (Part Two)


Here is the review of the final three matches which ends season 2025-26, how did we fare considering there was nothing really to play for?


https://i.postimg.cc/BnwMXwrr/PNEFC-202526-Game44.png
Saturday 18 April 2026

Our penultimate home game of the season saw us entertain relegation threatened Charlton Athletic here at Deepdale. I made a ballsy call at training the day before, I confirmed that Finnish keeper Will Jääskeläinen would start each of the last three games. Will has been on the bench for the majority of the matches since his move from Sunderland but not once has he come into my office and demanded game time so this was his reward. He's probably going to be third choice with the signing of Schendelaar next season so we might move him on whilst trying to find a decent young keeper to back the newcomer up. Anyway this was a strange game, another which we dominated, but it really came to life in the final six minutes of the first half as we had THREE goals in that short space of time.

We took the lead in the 39th minute, thanks to a thunderbolt from Kasey Palmer which rocketed into the net from the edge of the box. It was the culmination of another sweet but patient build up. Kasey's 11th of the season. Three minutes later, Charlton stunned us with an equaliser from left back Liam Green. That was certainly not in the script for sure. However we regained the lead in the second minute of three added on at the end of the first half. Mateus Uribe was upended by Jake Forster-Caskey 25 yards out, and Palmer stepped up to curl it home with a dink from the post. Sensational stuff, and a 12th goal of the season for the attack minded midfielder. We wrapped up another win in the 72nd minute with our third, Cristiàn Cuevas delivered from the left and Palmer flicked it onto Brijan Ibrahimi to volley home his 20th of the season. Job done, but it also pushed Charlton nearer to the drop. Oh, and Ezri Konsa had a 21st minute "goal" mysteriously chalked off for offside when every man, woman and their dog knew that it wasn't.

Team: Jääskeläinen; Roberts, Koundé ©, Konsa, Cuevas; Ronaldo Vieira; Palmer, Uribe; Harrison, Watkins, Ibrahimi. Substitutes: Crompton (for Roberts 55), Kean (for Watkins 69), Bächle (for Palmer 83), Grant, Beiranvand, Ferguson, Vukcevic.
Goalscorers: Palmer (39, 45+2), Ibrahimi (72)
Man of the Match:Kasey Palmer (Preston North End)
Attendance: 16,867 (688 away)


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Saturday 25 April 2026

The final away day of the season, and league game number 45 of 46. We made the long trek down to East Anglia to face Ipswich Town at Portman Road, and once more the pitch was looking absolutely like a bowling green. One goal decided it, and it came in the most freaky circumstances too. It happened in the 58th minute, and one that Ipswich keeper Dan Bentley will want to forget in a hurry. A shot from Ronaldo Vieira cannoned off the post but then ricocheted into the net via the backside of the former Southend United and Brentford custodian. Not that we were complaining though. Win number 30 and just one match left to go now before we can head on our summer holidays.

Team: Jääskeläinen; Roberts, Koundé ©, Ampadu, Cuevas; Ronaldo Vieira; Palmer, Uribe; Harrison, Watkins; Ibrahimi. Substitutes: Kean (for Watkins 63), Vukcevic (for Ronaldo Vieira 73), Ferguson (for Ibrahimi 81), Beiranvand, Konsa, Compton, Bächle.
Goalscorer: Bentley (og 58)
Booked: Kean (77)
Man of the Match: Cristiàn Cuevas (Preston North End)
Attendance: 16,360 (744 Preston)


https://i.postimg.cc/Yqk5g3RX/PNEFC-202526-Game46.png
Sunday 3 May 2026

So onto the final game of the season, a visit to a sold out Deepdale from Bolton Wanderers. Wanderers knew if they lost then they would be playing League One football next season whilst we were hoping to sign off with another win and leave the Championship in style. It was a special day too for the Jääskeläinen clan as Will started against the team from which he was born and one that his father Jussi was a modern day legend for. Young Will had started his career at Wanderers but they released him in 2017 so he was keen to prove a point in front of his Mam and Dad. And so he did, picking up another win and a clean sheet to boot as a goal in each half secured the win for us.

The opener came six minutes before the break, a cross from the left from Cristiàn Cuevas was headed in the net with aplomb by Brijan Ibrahimi. It was Albanian Brian's 21st goal of the season, and one now wonders how he adapt to life in the Premier League. Let's hope he is not just a one trick pony as the saying goes. The game was sealed and Bolton's relegation confirmed ten minutes into the second half. After seeing his first effort blocked, and Mateus Uribe having a header cleared off the line, Jack Harrison lashed his second attempt into the roof of the net to have the North End fans dancing with delight and some actually doing the conga. What a way to finish a memorable season!

Team: Jääskeläinen; Roberts, Koundé ©, Ampadu, Cuevas; Ronaldo Vieira; Palmer, Uribe; Harrison, Watkins; Ibrahimi. Substitutes: Kean (for Watkins 63), Bächle (for Palmer 70), Crompton (for Ampadu 78), Konsa, Beiranvand, Ferguson, Vukcevic.
Goalscorers: Ibrahimi (39), Harrison (55)
Booked: Cuevas (59)
Man of the Match: Cristiàn Cuevas (Preston North End)
Attendance: 20,830 (1041 away) - SOLD OUT
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April and May 2026 Review (Part Three)


Analysis:

So we finished the season with four wins and two draws in those last six games, which could have been a great deal worse if we had not done two comebacks against Aston Villa and QPR respectively. Those four wins took us to 31 wins over the campaign, a new club record. Another club record was 106 points which smashed the previous record of 95 set in the 1999-2000 title winning season. It also equalled the record held by Reading for this division in 2005-06.

There were so many stand out performances in the season, from routing local rivals Wigan Athletic 6-1 on their own patch in December to a superb 4-1 home win over Queens Park Rangers which was just as important considering they were in second place at that time and closing in on us. We had some stellar performers on the pitch, Brijan Ibrahimi (or Albanian Brian as the fans call him) enjoyed a breakout of a season as he top scored with 21 goals: all of which came in the league. There were double figure hauls from the wing wizard that is Jack Harrison, Italian Moise Kean as well as midfielder Kasey Palmer. Ibrahimi, Harrison and Palmer all agreed new deals during the season which should make it hard for them to depart for pastures new but we know full well that we might have to brace ourselves for big money bids for them as well as skipper Jules Koundé and Belgian star Charly Musonda.

As the season concludes, we have four players unhappy. Right-back Connor Roberts wants to play at a higher level which he's not going to get in this league structure. If he wants to go higher then he'll need to be courted by teams in Spain, France and Germany and to be honest that's not going to happen to be realistic. Nobody came in for either Ronaldo Vieira or Moise Kean after our relegation so it'll be interesting to see what happens to those two as well. Giuilo Maggiore was on the brink of leaving in the second transfer window but an injury just two days before the window closed scuppered that. I'll be looking to hopefully move him on before the new Premier League season begins in August 2026.

It's been a great season for me personally, four Manager of the Month awards. This latest title win now goes along the trophies won at Edinburgh City, Ilves, Le Mans and Tranmere Rovers. I've won at least one trophy at each of the club I've been at so far. Surely this latest win will increase my stock further. I'm just slightly disappointed in my current board's confidence in me even though I delivered what they wanted predominantly..it seldom went above 70 per cent. Normally at each of the other clubs I would have been in the high 90s, maybe 100 per cent, for a title win. Maybe Preston is not going to be the final stop on this journey, maybe a bigger club might want to take a chance on me?

But it's been a good start so far, question remains how will I fare in the Premier League? This is going to be the real acid test for the career.
The Man formerly known on SUSIE as Poolie Exile
Give my story a read - Now I would walk 500 miles...

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End of Season 2025-26


My first season at Preston North End is completed. Here's the season summarised.

End of Season Club Awards:

https://i.postimg.cc/Wb9Rq2mW/PNEFC-202526-EOS1.png

Predictably Jack Harrison took the Fans Player of the Year award, he was the creative spark that made the Championship title win possible. From game one to game forty-six, bar times when he was out injured, Harrison was always creative. He finished the season with 20 assists in 43 games, shattering the previous Club record of 12 held by team-mate Ollie Watkins in 2019-20. It also was a new Championship record, beating the 17 again in 2019-20 by Southampton's James Ward-Prowse.

Mateus Uribe got the award for the goal of the season, for his thunderbolt that helped secure a 3-0 home win against Portsmouth on 28 December 2025. It was one of many great goals we netted this season so I guess it was very hard to pick one that stood out. Unfortunately, the league never gave it the recognition it surely deserve. As of the signing of the season, we made very few new signings into the club, congratulations to Nikola Vukcevic for this award but I really was impressed personally how well Ethan Ampadu slotted into alongside skipper Jules Koundé. If it's possible to bring him in again then I'll try to do so but I'm sure my managerial counterpart Pàl Dàrdai at Stamford Bridge might have other plans. Albanian Brian, despite being 24, took the Young Player of the Season award. For a breakout season in front of goal, it was richly deserved.

I had no complaints about the team of the season though:

https://i.postimg.cc/YSdd2x5h/PNEFC-202526-EOS2.png


The individual club statistics were as follows:

https://i.postimg.cc/KY85WM1F/PNEFC-202526-EOS3.png


And the finally the commercial summary was as follows:

https://i.postimg.cc/KcMDCF8K/PNEFC-202526-EOS4.png
The Man formerly known on SUSIE as Poolie Exile
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End of Season Awards 2025-26


Here are the winners of the Sky Bet Championship annual awards:

Manager of the Year:
https://i.postimg.cc/Yq4cnDtf/SBCH-MOTS-202526.png
What the actual! I win the league by 24 points, bag four Manager of the Month awards and they give it to the manager of the runner-up? Seriously something fishy about this, it does not make any sense whatsoever.

Player of the Year:
https://i.postimg.cc/WbxBQm3R/SBCH-POTS-202526.png
Never in any doubt, the best player by a country mile in the Championship this season. Be interesting to see how he adapts to life in the Premier League now.

Young Player of the Year:
https://i.postimg.cc/GpCZpcGq/SBCH-YPOTS-202526.png
Third Middlesbrough player in the last four seasons to win this award, a striker on loan from Manchester United.

Goal of the Season:
https://i.postimg.cc/jSzFmGmN/SBCH-GOTS-202526.png
Winner of this was Adrian Funes of Aston Villa against Bristol City, we scored a few crackers ourselves but not good enough to take this award.

Team of the Season:
https://i.postimg.cc/ZnBfcg6W/SBCH-TOTS-202526.png
Three of the four defenders and all of the midfield, should have had also included Albanian Brian (Brijan Ibrahimi) as he was constantly a threat up front in our promotion winning season and he scored twice as many goals as Matic plus outshone Idah in the games we had against Norwich..
The Man formerly known on SUSIE as Poolie Exile
Give my story a read - Now I would walk 500 miles...

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