Beavon's back to face his biggest fan

This Is Local London: Stuart Beavon celebrates a goal with Gary Doherty Stuart Beavon celebrates a goal with Gary Doherty

GARY Doherty hopes Stuart Beavon gets a warm reception from Wanderers fans tomorrow after saying he's the former Blues striker's biggest fan.

Beavon returns to Adams Park for the first time tomorrow as a Preston North End player after leaving for Deepdale last year in controversial circumstances.

Scores of scouts had come to watch the striker as he scored 25 goals despite Wanderers' attempts at staying in League One in 2012 ultimately ending in failure.

The following season, with a much-touted summer move having failed to materialise, Beavon refused to play for Wycombe in a League Cup game against Watford to avoid being cup tied should he get a transfer.

The 29-year-old moved to Preston on August deadline day and is in line to start in attack for the Lilywhites alongside one-time England man Kevin Davies tomorrow with the in-form Joe Garner suspended.

Asked about the reception Beavon is likely to get from the Adams Park crowd, Doherty - who could end up marking his former team mate - said: "He scored 30 goals so I'm assuming it'll be a good one. It wasn't enough to keep us in the league. Players have their own ambitions. He did his stint with Wycombe in League Two and he wanted to play higher. He's certainly a League One striker.

"He's played against me so he'll know my weaknesses and I'll know a few of his. You know you're going to have a hard game because he works ever so hard.

"I'm Bevs' biggest fan to be honest. I was with him for a couple of months and I thought he was outstanding.

"He's probably been in and out a bit at Preston - Garner and Davies have been starting lately and they've been doing well. Whether or not he'll start or not I'm not sure, but I can't speak highly enough of him. I thought he was brilliant when he was at Wycombe and a real team player, even though he ended up with 30 goals. His work rate was fantastic. It'll be good to see him.

"They've got Kevin Davies who's been a top Premier League striker for 15 years. It's going to be tough for us but it's one to look forward to."

Doherty added he was looking forward to taking a break from league action and testing himself against Preston, who are third in League Two after being beaten just twice all season.

The former Ireland international said: "We're at home and hoping for a good crowd. I've always said you only get one chance a year to play in the FA Cup. If you're lucky enough to have 15 years in your career you only have 15 chances, and that's not many when you think about it.

"We're going to give it our all. We went to Crewe and really battled our hardest to get into the next round of the cup. Preston coming to town, they're a big club and they'll take a lot of fans."

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