Friendships on hold as Hawks star eyes giant-killing

Brian Stock
Brian Stock
Craig McAllister. Picture: Keith Woodland

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BRIAN STOCK has vowed to put old friendships to one side as he targets an FA Cup giant-killing tonight.

The Hawks midfielder lines up against League One high-flyers Preston North End in the first round proper at Westleigh Park (8pm).

Stock spent a year at Deepdale between 2006-07 and has good memories of his time with the Lilywhites.

But the 32-year-old’s only concern now is to help his in-form Conference South employers pull off a famous upset – something he believes is achievable.

Stock said: ‘It’s a great tie and we’ve got nothing to lose.

‘We’ve seen it many times where underdogs tend to knock out teams they really shouldn’t beat.

‘That’s the beauty of the FA Cup.

‘Hopefully this could be another one of those occasions.

‘We go into the game full of confidence having only lost once in 13 matches.’

Signed for £125,000 from Bournemouth in January 2006, Stock played an instrumental role in Preston’s run to the end-of-season Championship play-offs.

But defeat against Leeds saw manager Billy Davies leave Deepdale and with replacement Paul Simpson deeming Stock surplus to requirements, the midfielder moved on to Doncaster Rovers.

He said: ‘When I played for Preston they were in the Championship pushing on for the Premier League, so in the space of a few years a lot has changed at the club.

‘I moved on after a year 
but made some good friends and I don’t regret signing.

‘The masseur, John 
Sumner, has been having plenty of banter with me about the tie.

‘But when you cross the white line, all friendships go out the window and all you want to do is win the game.’