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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Lakes' Preston Decade Review

As the Noughties draw to a close, the lads look back on how the last ten years have been for their respective clubs.

First up,
Preston North End, and Lakes's take on how the past decade has been for the Lilywhites.

How's the decade been?

Let's face it, the decade has been an absolute joy for Preston North End. It's been a really, really great decade to be a Preston supporter.

We've been on the up the whole time and, apart from a couple of scares, have always been pushing for promotion. We've been absolutely spoilt wrotten.

Highlight of the decade?

Getting into the play-offs in 2001, 2005, 2006, and 2009. The fact that we actually made it into the final in 2001 summed up to me what was a dream season and it had all of the hallmarks of a miracle football moment about it.

I just wish we'd gone a step further, but it was probably too soon I'm honest.

Billy Davies led North End to the play-offs in both 2005 and 2006

Low point of the decade?

Sinking in what seemed to be our demise from the Championship under Paul Simpson. I really thought we'd have it for a while. Nobody brought more highs and lows than Simmo. A timely dismissal if ever there was one.

Preston's best manager of the decade?

It's a toss up between David Moyes [left] and Billy Davies. Moyes achieved the impossible and got us where we are today - a solid and reasonably consistent Championship club.

Davies, however, did something different. He got us playing like a team and put us on the best run I can remember seeing a Preston side on.

I remember at one point we conceded eight goals in 23 games under Davies. Carlo Nash had something like 22 clean sheets that season. Remarkable.

Preston's worst manager of the decade?

Craig Brown [right]. He brought boring, mid-table football that lacked initiative and any redeeming qualities, except for the occasional good signing.

Fans harp on about Brown's record of signing players, but the fact is that for every Ricardo Fuller he bought, there was a George Koumantarakis or an Omar Daley.

Best Preston player this decade?

Ricardo Fuller. Simply the best player I have ever seen in a Preston shirt. The man had it all.

He even became an internet sensation when he was put in a YouTube video showing the world's most outrageous skills - he achieved such a feat during a dull midweek fixture.

He scored goals for fun and when he ran with the ball I got so excited. I had chills every time I saw him running toward goals in a way that would only be approached later by David Nugent.

We've had some great players this decade - Fuller, David Healy, Jon Macken, Nugent, Eddie Lewis, Ross Wallace. It's been a great decade, it really has.

Worst Preston player this decade?

Andy Smith [right]. Another cracking signing from Brown, Preston fans. What's that? You've conveniently forgotten him?

He made about one appearance in a Preston shirt after being allegedly bought on the recommendation of David Healy, his mate from the Northern Ireland squad.

He ended up on loan in the Conference somewhere and still didn't score. I don't think he scored a single in three years in England.

Hopes for the next decade for Preston?

Obviously I hope we get investement, some great players, and really go for the Premier League.

If not, I'd be absolutely delighted to stay a Championship club. It really is one of the most exciting leagues in the world and I've loved our stay. I would be so sad if we slipped out of it at any point in the next few years.

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