Ferguson's loan rangers fire blank

Preston 0 Blackpool 0
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The Independent Online

He has been in the job less than six weeks yet Darren Ferguson has twice been on the phone to Old Trafford to ask his old man about borrowing players.

In the wake of this Lancashire stalemate, don't be surprised if Sir Alex Ferguson dispatches another youngster from Manchester United's reserves to add some quality to a Preston side which showed plenty of endeavour but lacked quality when it was needed most.

Sir Alex was in the crowd to watch his son's team and cast an eye over the progress of teenagers Danny Welbeck and Matt James, who have both moved from Old Trafford to North End on loan until the end of the season.

As the tackles flew and tempers threatened to boil over during a bruising Red Rose derby, the young duo will have learned more from the 90 minutes they endured on Saturday than any reserve game.

"They've come down to the Championship and they're getting kicked all game," Jon Parkin, the Preston forward, said afterwards.

The arrival of Welbeck and James from United has not gone unnoticed on the Fylde Coast. At one point Blackpool's 5,000 travelling fans chanted sarcastically at Fergie Jnr: "Daddy, daddy help me out". But Brett Ormerod was not laughing.

The Blackpool forward could have done with some help himself after an astonishing second- half miss let his former club off the hook and left him apologising to his team-mates afterwards.

Preston North End (4-4-2): Lonergan; Hart, Mawene, St Ledger, Jones; Sedgwick (Brown, 80), Coutts, James, Wallace; Welbeck, Parkin. Substitutes not used: Henderson (gk), Collins, Chilvers, Carter, Treacy, Mellor.

Blackpool (4-3-3): Gilks; Baptiste, Evatt, Edwards, Crainey; Southern, Vaughan, Taylor-Fletcher; Burgess, Campbell, Ormerod. Substitutes not used: Rachubka (gk), Butler, Martin, Bangura, Husband, Euell, Dobbie.

Referee: M Jones (Chester).

Booked: Preston North End St Ledger; Blackpool Vaughan.

Man of the match: Parkin.

Attendance: 19,840.

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