Davies relishes winning return to Preston

Davies relishes winning return to Preston
January 2nd, 2007  

Topic: Davies relishes winning return to Preston

Davies relishes winning return to Preston
LONDON, Jan 2, 2007 (AFP) - Derby boss Billy Davies savoured a winning return to Preston as his side closed in on Championship leaders Birmingham.
Davies was back at Deepdale for the first time since quitting Preston to take charge at Derby in pre-season and he received a vitriolic reception from the home fans who taunted him throughout the match.
But Davies had the last laugh as Steve Howard's double strike early in the second half set up a victory that lifted Derby above Preston into second place and left them just three points behind Birmingham.
Davies spent two years at Preston and maintained he was still fond of his former club despite the abuse he received on Monday.
"It is three points. It was three points before the game and it is three points after," Davies said. "It is an enormous three points, but as far as I was concerned, it's only three points. Forget all the euphoria that goes with it.
"It's genuinely nice to be back. I have made great friends here, there are some wonderful memories and they gave me four great years of my life.
"My memories of this place are nothing but first class. Without doubt, Preston are the first team I look for after the Derby County result."
Preston manager Paul Simpson was furious with this side's defending and said: "We are judged on the result and the result is rubbish for us because of two moments of madness at the start of the second half."
Roy Keane hailed his Sunderland players' character after they battled for a 2-0 win at Leicester that keeps them in touch with the play-off race.
Keane's side had to wait until the 79th minute before Tobias Hysen broke the deadlock and David Connolly sealed the points four minutes later.
Former Manchester United star Keane said: "I thought we would get there in the end. We had to be patient and their keeper made some great saves.
"We showed great perseverance and desire and I think we could have had a few more goals."
Wolves boss Mick McCarthy set his sights on promotion after goals from Karl Henry and Seyi Olofinjana earned a 2-0 home win against Barnsley.
The Molineux team are just a point away from the top six and McCarthy said: "We want to get promoted, there is no point dressing that up. We want to be in the promotion shake-up at the end of the season.
"Is that realistic? Well, we are one point outside the play-offs and on our day we can match anyone."
Southend manager Steve Tilson insisted his side's surprise 3-1 home win against promotion-chasing West Bromwich showed they can still avoid relegation.
Tilson's team are still bottom of the table and six points from safety despite their fourth win of the season, but Tilson is adamant they are capable of getting out of trouble.
Jamal Campbell-Ryce scored twice for Southend and Lewis Hunt added a third before half-time before John Hartson pulled one back.
Tilson said: "The lads believe we can get out of it. We know it is going to be tough, but you never know. If we don't believe we can stay up, then we may as well not turn up."
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