THE writing – and the celebration pictures – is on the wall.

City’s players won’t need reminding about their glorious recent past in the League Cup as they begin another campaign in its Carabao guise against Preston at Valley Parade tonight.

Gary Bowyer’s squad catch the images of that history-making 2012/13 charge to Wembley after every training session.

The reminder is plastered on the wall of the dining room – part of the revamp commissioned by the manager to spruce up their Woodhouse Grove base over the summer.

“When I first arrived we had a couple of first meetings in the famous suite up there,” said Bowyer, referring to the room at Valley Parade dedicated to the team that went all the way to the final six years ago.

“But it’s on the wall in their dining room now. They see it every day so they are well aware.

“It’s something that the club recognises and rightly so. Hopefully this is an opportunity for them to try and put something together for themselves.

“That’s the point in being here (to create your own history). Otherwise why turn up every day?”

Phil Parkinson’s side claimed a Championship scalp in Watford before famously slipping into full giant-killing mode against top-flight trio Wigan, Arsenal and Aston Villa.

Another opponent from two levels above stand in the way of the present-day City’s bid to make it past the first stage.

And Bowyer has no doubts about the size of the challenge that visitors Preston will present.

He admitted: “It’s one of the toughest draws we could have got, if I’m being brutally honest.

“There is a real good British-based, if you like, group of players who are all a good age and energy.

“Whatever team they put out, you could say that could play in the Championship on Saturday.

“It’s going to a big challenge and I’m looking forward to see how we react. We’ve got to try to take the game to Preston when we can.

“I think pre-season has been very good for us in terms of some of the games we’ve had and our organisation off the ball. There’s no doubt that we will be tested on that for sure.

“They play the game the right way as well. The style of football Alex has them playing, I can’t speak highly enough of them as a football club.

“The model is terrific. They don’t spend millions of pounds and put the club at risk, the fanbase is sensible and year in, year out I think they’ve done magnificently.”

Bowyer has had a close-up look of how Preston operate after Neil invited him to watch some training while he was out of a job after leaving Blackpool.

“He was very open with me and showed the footage of the opposition they were playing,” said the City boss. “The level of detail was very good.

“Alex has obviously managed in the Premier League and it will be a tough challenge for us.

“But we’ve played Wigan and Liverpool in pre-season and (dealt with) the different challenges they brought. This will be another one again and we’ll be looking for our players to stand up and be counted – as they have done in the previous two games.”

Extra-time has been scrapped for the early rounds, so the game will go to penalties if it finishes level.