Npower Championship: Preston v Hull City Preview and Team News
Darren Ferguson has been unsuccessful in his bids to strengthen his struggling Preston team ahead of the crucial relegation clash with Hull City at Deepdale on Friday night.
Ferguson had been linked with loan moves for Michael Tonge and Danny Pugh from Stoke City this week but with neither deal coming to fruition, he must go with what he has for the bottom of the table clash.
Preston are eager to bring in fresh faces in a bid to climb out of the Championship drop zone where they share bottom spot with Crystal Palace on 14 points.
The 4-3 win against Palace over two weeks ago was North End’s second win at Deepdale this season following the 1-0 win against Portsmouth back in August.
Having collected five points from seven games since the beginning of October, Ferguson is desperate to find a winning formula before it’s too late.
The televised game against fellow strugglers Hull City is a must win for both sides with the Tiger’s recent form worse than Preston’s, they are only marginally better off, lying third bottom with 15 points.
City must go back to 25 September for their last win, when they beat Norwich 2-0 at Carrow Road, since then they have picked up four points from four draws in the last eight games.
Ferguson has placed David Gray on standby in case Billy Jones doesn’t recover from the flu virus which forced his half-time substitution at Barnsley on Tuesday.
Iain Hulme missed out in midweek under the terms of the loan agreement with parent club Barnsley and he returns to the squad for Friday.
Teenage Norwegian striker, Joshua King is on-loan from Manchester United but continues on the sidelines with the ankle problem he’s been suffering since his substitution against Scunthorpe over three weeks ago.
Tigers’ boss Nigel Pearson will be disappointed to lose his talented young midfielder John Bostock through suspension.
The 18-year-old was sent off against Leeds United for two yellow card offences in the 2-2 draw on Tuesday after opening the scoring with a cracker in the 14th minute.
However, he has the option of Robert Koren who makes his return after missing the last three games with a hamstring problem and player coach Nick Barmby who could be called upon if needed.
Hull must continue without the services of former Premier League players Jamie Bullard (knee), Paul McShane (thigh) and Caleb Folan (leg) until they recover from their injuries.