FOR Hamilton supporters, there will only be one match of the day in the EFL Championship today, writes Stewart Fisher. And the result will only be of academic importance. Who should the fixture computer come up with for Billy Reid’s first home match for Swansea, as a trusted lieutenant to the Welsh side’s new boss Graham Potter, but Preston North End. The Lilywhites, of course, are under the charge these days of Alex Neil, his long-time former captain who eventually succeeded him as manager. With both men typically guiding their teams in with an opening day win, something has got to give.

“Billy is a great coach and a great guy as well,” said Neil yesterday of a Swansea side who overcame Sheffield United on their season opener. Graham [Potter] will come with his ideas and will want to implement that as soon as he can and he has had a good start winning his first game.

“He has had an unbelievable record with Ostersunds and what he achieved there, so they have someone who knows what he is doing,” Neil added. “They are in great hands and I am sure they will want the players to take a bit of ownership. Their momentum now needs to be in a forward direction, rather than a negative one.”

“When the fixtures came out it just had to be Preston in the first home game,” said Reid, who left Accies for a spell in Swedish football. “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, now he’s impressing with Preston. He is a good friend and it will be interesting to do battle on Saturday. Every Preston player will be at it. They will compete for everything and chase every ball.”