Preston intelligence leak arms Owls with lethal trivia

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Preston manager Graham Westley was left seething after discovering that members of his squad had leaked valuable information to opponents Sheffield Wednesday, including the club’s nickname, record scorer and illustrious early history.

The struggling Lancashire outfit went down 2-0, a result that didn’t surprise an irate Westley given the crucial confidential information the Owls had managed to gather.

“You could tell something was wrong,” Westley explained. “The second we got off the coach I swore I could hear one of the Wednesday players talking about Ted Harper’s club record 37 goals in 1932-33.

“And sure enough, it soon become clear that Wednesday’s defenders knew our nickname was the Lillywhites and that Ribble Valley Shelving sponsored us between 1990 and 1992.”

Preston's 1889 FA Cup winners, all of whom are familiar to the Owls' squad

Gary Madine netted twice to secure the points for Wednesday, but there was controversy surrounding both goals.

“Madine’s finishing was excellent,” Westley conceded. “But you have to ask yourself whether he would have got into those positions had he not known that in 1888/89 we were the first team to go through an entire season unbeaten?”

Not for the first time this season Westley described ‘different agendas’ within the dressing room.

“It makes life very tough as a manager,” he said. “Paul Parry, for example, loves throw-ins."

“Graham Cummins has this thing about beating the traffic, so he’ll always be edging towards the touchline as the final whistle approaches. Then you got Paul Coutts who always likes the score to be a binary number – once it gets to 1-1 he’ll just head for the corner flag. It’s tough to get everyone pulling together.”