Fleetwood Town manager Graham Alexander will welcome his former side Preston North End to Highbury on Sunday with the chance of closing the gap on the Sky Bet League 1 Play-Offs.The 43-year-old had two spells with the Lilywhites as a player, which combined to a total of 12 seasons, more than 400 appearances and 65 goals.
One of his most famous feats in the white shirt came in his last ever game for the club in 2012, which was also his career swansong, when he scored a free-kick with his final touch of the ball to earn Preston a 2-2 draw in stoppage time against Charlton Athletic.
The former defender has gone down in Deepdale folklore since his retirement, after being named the club’s greatest ever right-back by fans.
Alexander joined Fleetwood in December 2012 to take on his first job as a manager, which followed a spell coaching Preston’s youth side.
In his first full campaign at the helm of the Cod Army, he guided them to Sky Bet League 1 for the first time in their history, via a Play-Off Final triumph over Burton Albion, and Fleetwood have already shown they are more than capable of mixing it in the third tier.
In fact, victory over his former employers could see them move to within a point of the top six, should other results swing in their favour ahead of Sunday's live match.
Alexander has already faced the Lilywhites once this season, back in October, and staked a real claim for three points at his old stomping ground when Stephen Jordan’s strike and a Scott Laird own goal gave Fleetwood a 2-0 lead in the opening seven minutes. A second-half Joe Garner hat-trick, however, denied him victory on his return to North End.
Alexander's men have suffered indifferent form of late, winning two, drawing two and losing two over their last six outings. Preston, on the contrary, have secured eight wins in an unbeaten run of 10, to sit three points clear of Swindon Town in the automatic promotion places.
Fleetwood host Preston in a 2.15pm kick-off this Sunday afternoon live on Sky Sports, and we’ll be providing goal updates on our @SkyBetLeague1 Twitter feed.