CLARETS wideman Ross Wallace admits he has little sympathy for the plight of former club Preston ahead of tomorrow’s derby at Deepdale.
Burnley travel to West Lancashire looking for points for their play-off push, while North End lie 10 points adrift of Championship safety, after 12 games without a win.
But Wallace, who made the move down the M65 in the summer, is not losing any sleep over the Lilywhites’ predicament, having left the club in acrimonious fashion.
The former Celtic and Sunderland man felt he was made to move to aid Preston’s financial situation, but he received what he believed was an unwarranted barracking from North End fans in September at Turf Moor, labelling him “greedy”, while legend Graham Alexander received a standing ovation from the away support.
The 25-year-old was a fans’ favourite during his two years at Deepdale, helping inspire a sixth-place finish in 2009, and a play-off berth.
Asked whether he was sad to see his old club rock-bottom of the table, he said: “Honestly, not really.
“At the time, I was happy where I was, and wasn’t really wanting to move anywhere.
“I was kind of forced out of the club, to be honest with you. I was basically told I had to go.
“But I was lucky enough that Burnley were interested.
“I looked at the squad we’ve got here, and it was a no-brainer for me to come here really. Preston needed the money at the time, but I think the way it was handled was quite poor really.
“I think the fans’ perception was that I left to join a better team with more money, and stuff like that, but that wasn’t the case.
“I was happy where I was.”
The manager who sold him to Burnley, Darren Ferguson, backed up that claim in July: “It’s no secret that this one had to be done for financial reasons – we got a lot of money for Ross.
“He came here for a cheap fee, but was one of our highest earners...for that reason he had to go, unfortunately.”
Wallace was disappointed with the reaction of the Preston fans, and it adds spice to a derby that is often heated.
He goes back to Deepdale for the first time, and he said: “It’ll be a good game. I’m looking forward to it, and I know Grezza’s looking forward to it as well, going back there again.
“It was quite weird the last time we played them, because I never really got a good reception.
“It was quite strange seeing Grezza running out first, and seeing him get a standing ovation.
“It’s going to be an enjoyable match for me, so hopefully I get a game.”
Wallace has currently enjoyed a spell of four successive starts, having made only 18 in what has been a frustrating campaign, personally.
However, he is arguably enjoying his best run of form, lining up on the right flank, as is the current vogue in the game, cutting inside on to his fearsome left foot.