TONY Mowbray hinted last week that he would have to make changes after conceding three more goals in the defeat at Rotherham United.

His options are certainly limited, with Darragh Lenihan injured and Paul Downing having been loaned out. But this week Derrick Williams is back from suspension after serving a two match ban.

The Republic of Ireland international by his own admission hasn't had the season he would have hoped for, with just 14 Championship starts having been a near ever present since signing from Bristol City in 2016.

However, his versatility provides Mowbray with options he will have craved, whether that be moving to a back three alongside Jack Rodwell and Charlie Mulgrew, replacing the skipper whose form has been of concern since his injury return, or a straight swap at left back for Amari'i Bell.

Replacing the captain, Mulgrew, would raise the most eyebrows, particularly given his prowess from set plays and how Rovers have lacked a serious goal threat from open play of late.

A back three could actually bring out the best in Bell who has two goals in four games but arguably been at fault for as many in the same period, and see Mulgrew play in the centre, giving him cover either side and not expose him as much to the pace Preston possess in attack.


WHETHER it be to themselves, the fans, or Preston, Rovers owe each respective party a strong performance. They were blown away by North End in the reverse fixture at Deepdale in November and haven't done themselves justice post-January.

Slow starts have blighted them, not least in their last home game with Middlesbrough, something they can't afford here, particularly in front of what will likely be a tense home crowd given the recent run of results.

Two 1-0 defeats in their last two home matches have doubled the amount of losses at Ewood to four in 17 fixtures, and there would be no better time to find that January form, inspired by home wins and clean sheets.


BEN Brereton has been an unused substitute in Rovers' last two matches, possibly down to his expected involvement in the U23s fixtures at Doncaster and West Ham in the days following games at Birmingham and Rotherham.

Away from the glare of the first team, Brereton has scored three times in two matches. After a self-confessed confidence dip, this will hopefully have done him the world of good.

His wait for a first team goal goes on, and who knows where he would be had that weight been lifted when seeing a goal incorrectly chalked off for offside at Deepdale in November.

It would be good to see the 19-year-old involved in some capacity this weekend, and there would be no better time for that first Rovers goal to arrive.