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View From The Town End: Preston North End

Reading travel to Deepdale looking for their first league away win since the final day of last season. Deepdale Digest writer James Vickers helps us preview the match.

Preston North End V Nottingham Forest Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images

We got the views of James Vickers from Deepdale Digest. He tweets from @_JamesVickers.

How is the season going so far for Preston?

This season has been a mixed bag so far for Preston. Obviously when a new manager comes in its going to take time for them to stamp their authority on the side, and that is what has happened so far.

In terms of results, we have had a tricky start to the season with games against Sheffield Wednesday, Leeds and Derby. The positive thing from our perspective is that against these sides we have taken four points and haven’t conceded a goal from open play.

The negative, however, is that we look a little predictable going forwards. We have brought in a few new attackers over the course of the summer and it will take time for them to gel so I’m not too worried at the moment.

What's going right for Preston at the moment?

There is plenty of positivity around Preston at the moment both on and off field. We have recently had plans for a new training ground accepted which is a massive step for the club as they try to push on to the next level. It had initially been rejected by the local council but thankfully upon appeal it has now been accepted.

On field we have continued our recruitment policy of buying young hungry players this summer with the arrivals of Josh Harrop and Sean Maguire from Man Utd & Cork City respectively. By doing this we are able to field a young, hungry side and also have the ability to sell these players on for decent money should a big offer come in.

Whilst it may not be to every fans liking I think it’s important for us at the moment especially with the vast amounts of money flying around the league.

And what could be going better?

We desperately need a centre back and a central midfielder! The latter being crucial, for as good as Ben Pearson is in our midfield, there is always the question mark over his discipline. If we can bring one or two through the door in the next week or so then I’ll be happier.

The only other question mark for me at the moment would be the lack of goals. We haven’t scored from open play in the league yet which is disappointing considering the attacking talent that we now have available, but as I mentioned before, it’s about giving them time to gel and I’m confident that the goals will come.

Who should Reading be afraid of on Saturday?

Sean Maguire has looked really lively so far for us. Despite the fact that he has failed to score in the league so far I’m sure the goals will come. He, along with Jordan Hugill look to complement each other perfectly up top so I’m expecting good things from them this weekend.

Other than that, Josh Harrop looked good when he came on against Leeds, hitting the cross bar in the 95th minute, if that had gone in then we would be right up there with the way the league is at the moment! Once fully fit I’m sure he will be a massive player for us this season.

Are there any weaknesses in the Preston side that Reading should try to exploit?

We are currently playing with what I’d class as a makeshift defence. Greg Cunningham picked up a knock against Derby and will be a doubt for the game, and with our club captain Tom Clarke out until the New Year with a long term knee injury we are suddenly short at the back. To be fair to Ben Davies and Tommy Spurr who have stepped in, they have done a fantastic job so far but ideally we are missing pace at the back.

Apart from that we are looking solid and hard to break down but there is always the question mark when two of your best defenders are out injured. Pace in behind would be the area that Reading should look to expose.

Is there anyone that has caught your eye for good or bad reasons in this Reading team?

Going off last season, having not seen too much of Reading this term I would have to say John Swift, he really stood out in the game at the Madejski last season and has the ability to single handily turn the tide of a game. I think keeping him quite will go a long way to helping Preston win the game.

Any predictions you can leave us with?

I think that this will be the game that we finally start to see some goals from our forwards, but with our makeshift defence I’m sure we will be suspect at the back. I would say that Preston will just edge it and go for 2-1!