'It will be interesting to battle with Alex'
Billy Reid knows more than most about the threat Preston North End pose going into Swansea City’s first home game of the season.
Following an opening-day win at Sheffield United, the Swans face their first Championship fixture at the Liberty against Preston on Saturday.
For Reid, Graham Potter's Swans No. 2, it will be a case of friends reunited as he will be in the opposing dugout to Alex Neil, who was his captain at Hamilton Academical for seven years.
Neil would eventually take over the Hamilton hotseat following Reid’s departure from the Scottish club, and now the pair lock horns for the first time since they went their separate ways.
“When the fixtures came out it just had to be Preston in the first home game,” said Reid.
“Alex was my leader on the pitch as he helped bring through the youngsters at Accies.
“In my latter years at Hamilton he was my player-assistant coach.
“He was a feisty player, but I could tell then that he had the demeanour and drive to go into management.
“He’s done very well so far, and now he’s impressing with Preston.
“He is a good friend and it will be interesting to battle with Alex on Saturday.”
Neil has enjoyed a successful start to management, having guided Hamilton to the Scottish Premier League followed by another promotion at Norwich City, who he led to English football’s top flight.
Last season, Neil's first at Deepdale, Preston finished seventh in the Championship – just two points off the play-offs.
Like the Swans, Preston kicked off the new campaign with victory as they beat QPR 1-0.
And Reid is expecting a tough test when the sides collide on Saturday in SA1.
“We go into the game on the back of a very good win at Sheffield United, but we can’t be complacent,” added Reid.
“We can’t just turn up and roll Preston over because that won’t be the case.
“I’ve watched Preston a number of times last season and this season they are a real robust side.
“Every Preston player will be at it. They will compete for everything and chase every ball.
“They had a fantastic season last year so they are expecting something of the same.”
Tickets for the Preston game are available – get yours HERE or call the ticket office on 01792 616400. Watch the game in style in our 1912 Heritage lounge – contact our dedicated hospitality team on 01792 616628 or on firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Preston game will be available on SwansTV Live to all our international fans on Saturday*.
*Please note that due to EFL broadcasting rules, you will not be able to live stream Saturday’s fixture against Preston in the UK, Ireland, Channel Islands, Guernsey or Jersey.