Exclusive Blog with Preston North End midfielder Alan Browne

News Content

Tottenham Hotspur have waited 15 years to win a trophy, with their quest for FA Cup glory pitting them against Preston North End on Saturday night.

The Lillywhites were the first side in Britain to complete the Cup and League double, as far back as 1889, a season in which they avoided a single defeat.

Times at Deepdale may be somewhat more testing in the present, yet Ryan Lowe’s side are a galvanised and well-organised outfit, with tireless midfielder Alan Browne leading the charge.

While Preston may well be the underdogs heading into the game, uncertainty is swirling around Spurs and the chance of an old-fashioned cup upset could well be on the cards.

Stake spoke exclusively to Browne before the Saturday evening kick-off, where he discussed dealing with Harry Kane and pouncing on the slow starting Premier League side.

How excited are you and the boys to test yourself against Tottenham on Saturday?

We are looking forward to it, there’s a real buzz around the place. We started the New Year well after bouncing back from a heavy defeat, but we’ve got three wins from four games which is nice for any team.

I think it is pretty much sold out already, so you can tell the fans are really looking forward to it.

They probably want to see some of their quality in their team, but to support us as well, so we are all up for it.

How much of an incentive does the game being televised give the players?

It’s in front of a worldwide audience, so it’s a chance for us to go and impress and show what we can do.

Ultimately, it is going to be a tough test and they are odds-on favourites to win the game so we just have to do our best and hope we catch them on an off day.

To go up against the quality in their team, it is a big test for us so we are going to have to be on our game.

Preston have tremendous history in the FA Cup, how proud are you to captain the side?

There is massive history throughout the years of this club and I think people may not remember that because it was quite some time ago.

We are trying to build something to get back to those days, it may be a bit off yet, but at the moment that is what we are trying to do and trying to get to.

Every day in training that is what we are working towards, to try and get back to the top league, and to get fixtures like this when you can play against Premier League quality and test yourself and see how big or how small the game is.

I don’t think we are a million miles off it, but it is probably a long way off where this club used to be.

How much confidence would a victory give you to chase down a Play-Off place?

We will be looking to go toe-to-toe with them and find ourselves on the end of a good result - and if that is the case - it puts us in a good position for the rest of the season.

Knowing that you could go and beat a Premier League team, or at least get close to it, it does give you confidence.

We are not going in with any expectations to lose, but in the back of our minds we know they are heavy favourites, so we will be optimistic but realistic at the same time.

How much would a trip to Wembley mean for the city of Preston?

It’d be huge, to give them a big day out at Wembley. I was there in the Play-offs and when you come together as one, the whole city, it is unbelievable.

It’s great to generate that massive atmosphere; not just around the whole club, but also around the whole city.

We know we are a long way off talking about that yet, but if we were to get there, it would be fantastic.

How important will a sold-out, raucous Deepdale be to your chances of success?

When the draw was being made, we obviously wanted to get one of the biggest teams and we have got them at our home venue as well.

We can create a hostile atmosphere for them, take the game to them and then hopefully send them away with nothing.

It will be a big task and one we are looking forward to. I think you need every little advantage you can get and that is certainly one of them.

You don’t want to be going away to Tottenham, already as underdogs, with their fans on top of you.

Every little advantage we can get, we will take, and the Deepdale crowd is certainly one of them.

Harry Kane is chasing the Tottenham goalscoring record, have you got a plan in place to contain him?

Yeah, we won’t base our game plan around one player, because you can only do so much.

He is obviously one of the best players in the world, he will create problems for us - whether we like it or not.

But it is about a collective effort and we need to be on top of all of them.

They are all Premier League quality players, playing at the highest level every week. It would be silly of us to focus all of our attention on one player.

But, at the same time, we are aware of what he can do and we see him every week, I’m sure most of the team watch the Premier League so we already know what he is good at.

There is a bit of pressure on Spurs right now, will you be looking to capitalise on their slow start?

Yeah I would agree with that, they probably are slow starters.

But they are in a good position in the league, it’s not probably where their players want to be, but it’s probably where they’ve always been.

They’ve never broken that barrier of getting right in there for a title challenge, they may have come close once or twice.

They’ve come under a lot of criticism, but the teams above them are probably where they should be. So that’s probably where you expect Spurs to be.