Preston North End head to the South Coast tonight, taking on Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium in what is a tough task.

The Lilywhites were beaten convincingly by Watford on Saturday afternoon, and must now take on another recently-relegated side in Bournemouth.

These are tough times for Preston; two heavy defeats and five losses in the last seven games mean Alex Neil is under increasing pressure at Deepdale.

Tonight’s trip to Bournemouth evokes memories of Preston’s last visit there, when North End were going through a similarly tough time under Simon Grayson.


AFC Bournemouth v Preston North End - EFL Cup Third Round
Photo by Stephen White/CameraSport via Getty Images

Preston had won two of eight games to start the Championship season, and were coming off an away thumping at Brentford when they faced Bournemouth in the League Cup.

Few gave Preston a chance, but North End pulled off a 3-2 win after extra time, and a rousing victory like that would be welcomed – but somebody may need to play the Simon Makienok role.

The Dane’s loan season at Preston maybe didn’t go as hoped, but fans still remember him fondly, with his hat-trick at Bournemouth the key moment of his time in Lancashire.

Makienok fired the opener with a fine left-footed effort, equalised with a perfet header and then won it with a close-range prod to complete his hat-trick, celebrating with an ecstatic travelling faithful who made the long trip down on a Tuesday night.

AFC Bournemouth v Preston North End - EFL Cup Third Round
Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images

The giant target man could never really replicate that night, but he became something of a cult hero for his hat-trick against the Cherries, with fans still looking out for the striker’s exploits now.

After stints with Utrecht and Dynamo Dresden, Makienok is now featuring for St Pauli, and recently scored against bitter rivals Hamburg, making him a fan favourite there too.

Let’s hope somebody can channel their inner Makienok to fire Preston to a win at Bournemouth tonight – who knows, maybe fellow Danish striker Emil Riis can replicate his success on the South Coast this evening.

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