Brown’s ‘Great Escape’ plan for PNE

Iain Hume could be ready to return to the fray
Iain Hume could be ready to return to the fray
Share this article
Have your say

Ultra-Positive Preston boss Phil Brown is aiming to throw the Championship relegation race wide open.

North End may be 10 points from safety and favourites for the drop, but Brown is planning on sucking as many teams as possible towards the League One trap door in the final 14 games of the season.

And Brown plans to stage the first instalment of his version of the Great Escape this afternoon in Preston’s massive derby battle against neighbours Burnley at Deepdale.

He said: “Sometimes you listen to other managers and after 30 games you will hear them say, ‘We have got 50 points – now we are safe’.

“So if you flip the other side of the coin and say 50 points...if that’s safety then there are only seven teams safe in the Championship at the moment.

“It means there are 17 teams fighting against relegation.

“Unfortunately, we are at the bottom of that pile but we have got to make sure that whatever we do in the next 14 games – it’s got to be positive.

“It’s got to be on the front foot and it’s got to drag as many teams as possible into the relegation thought process from now until the end of the season.

“We have got to make a relegation battle. We know we’re in it but there might be one or two others out there who don’t think they are in it.

“We’ve got to make the relegation battle as big as we possibly can.

“For instance, Derby County have dropped to 19th and look in free-fall. Doncaster are dropping points and shipping goals left, right and centre.

“I don’t know what is going on in those camps...all I know is what is going on in Preston North End’s camp and I know what is going on here at the moment is very, very good.

“It’s not going to be easy by any stretch of the imagination but we have to make sure we bring our best game to the table for the next 14 games.”

While PNE can point to being unbeaten in their last three games, they have still yet to taste victory under Brown and he admits the first win has to come sooner rather than later.

“I know for a fact the players are buying into what we are trying to achieve,” he said.

“We have got 14 cup finals left and the first win has to come soon. The first win will lift everybody’s spirits.

“The draws that we have had have lifted spirits. Tuesday night felt like a win but in the cold light of day, it was only one point.

“The cold light of day tomorrow morning has to look like three points and we will be going all guns blazing to get those three points.”

On the injury front, Brown could have a couple of key players back today after injury.

Iain Hume and Chris Brown have missed the last few games, while the PNE manager saw Paul Coutts come through unscathed at Forest on Tuesday after a spell on the sidelines.

Brown added: “Hume and Brown are in contention and Coutts played two-thirds of the game on Tuesday night.

“He’s recovered well and trained well. Hume and Brown have trained fully and want to put their hats in the ring for today.”