HIS team mates back at Deepdale might have cleared off to sunnier climes, but Mark Rankine is still in the thick of footballing things.

Farmed out on loan to Sheffield United earlier in the season and still unsure if he has a future at Deepdale, Rankine played in the Blade's thrilling play-off second leg at Bramall Lane on Thursday evening.

The Steel City side walked out 5-4 winners over the two-legged tie, the second match had to be decided in injury time. They had been trailing 2-0 by the 58th minute.

Rankine now faces the prospect of lining up against his old team Wolves at the Millennium Stadium in the play-off final. It would be the second time in three years he has been part of a squad which made the play-off finals at Cardiff.

North End got there in 2001.