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Last Updated: Tuesday, 7 February 2006, 19:16 GMT
Ormerod looks for new beginning
By John Sinnott

Preston striker Brett Ormerod
Ormerod scored in Blackpool's 2001 play-off final win
It took Preston striker Brett Ormerod just 13 minutes to score for his new club - the same number he had managed for Southampton in 18 matches.

"It's a new start for me," Ormerod told BBC Sport. "Preston are a good team and I'm just really happy to be here.

"There are a lot of good players at the club, confidence is high and they're on an great run," added Ormerod, referring to the club's 22-match unbeaten record.

"I was substitute a lot at Southampton and I didn't play consistently."

Southampton spent 1.75m to take Ormerod from Blackpool in 2001 but he was unable to make his mark at St Mary's.

But having joined on a three-and-half-year deal the 29-year-old has more of a chance of making a quick return to the Premiership with Preston than Southampton.

Preston knows where its going and what it wants to do
Preston striker Brett Ormerod

For while Preston are well placed to win a play-off place, Southampton's priority is to avoid being sucked into a relegation fight.

"The whole environment at Saints - everyone seemed to struggled," said Ormerod, who chose Preston in preference to a couple of Championship clubs in London.

"There's a lot going on behind the scenes as well and by that I mean not football matters.

"Southampton have got a good manager in George Burley and given time I'm sure he will turn it round.

"But there have been a lot of problems and they've had a lot of managers over the last two years which hasn't helped.

"If you look at any club that changes its manager more than once in a season then they normally struggle."

Despite his failure to become a Southampton regular, Ormerod has no regrets over his move to the south coast.

"I had some of the best years of my career at Southampton. Its a big club with great supporters. If I had my time again I would do exactly the same again, particularly as I got to play in a cup final."

Since joining Preston Ormerod has been impressed by the club's vision.

"Last season Preston only just missed out on the play-offs.

"They are a stable club, with a good manager in Billy Davies and a good coaching staff.

"The club knows where its going and what it wants to do."

In his second season at Southampton Ormerod played in the FA Cup final under one of the club's former managers Gordon Strachan, who Ormerod believes is very similar to Davies.

"Like Gordon, Billy has got set things he wants from the players. He is very keen on the fitness aspect and he is very methodical as regards the small details such as set pieces."

And if Preston do reach the play-offs in May, Ormerod will be hoping for a repeat of his goalscoring feats of May 2001 when he scored for Blackpool in their 4-2 play-off final win over Orient.

"Blackpool sneaked into them and even though Hartlepool had a lot more points than us we beat them and ended up getting promotion. The play-offs are a lottery."


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