Josh has big PNE future

Josh Brownhill in action for Barnsley
Josh Brownhill in action for Barnsley
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Simon Grayson believes that Preston North End can benefit in the longer term from Josh Brownhill’s temporary move away from Deepdale.

The young midfielder is on loan at Barnsley and has been on the winning side in all three games he has played.

Although he used Brownhill sparingly at North End prior to loaning him out, Grayson believes the 20-year-old has plenty to offer in the future.

Initially, the loan with the Tykes runs until February 13.

As that date gets nearer, Grayson will take a decision on whether or not to extend it.

“We actually left ourselves a bit short by letting Josh go out to Barnsley,” said Preston boss Grayson.

“However, I felt I had to do it for Josh’s benefit because he has waited patiently for an opportunity.

“Earlier in the month we brought Ben Pearson in so it was vital for Josh’s long-term development to go and get some football.

“I didn’t want this season to be a waste for him and I’m more than happy to see him getting games at Barnsley.

“After 28 days we will assess the situation and see where we are at.

“If I feel it worthwhile bringing Josh back here, than I will do that.

“If not, Josh can continue with his development over at Barnsley on loan.

“He is a good young player who I want here for the long term and for the long-term good of the club.”

After two starts in the Capital One Cup and a substitute’s appearance in the league early in the season, Brownhill was forced to wait until last month for a further slice of first-team action.

He came on as a sub in the Christmas games against Huddersfield and Hull, before starting the FA Cup clash with Peterborough three weeks ago.

Barnsley are scheduled to play four more matches before Brownhill’s loan spell is up, including the second leg of the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy northern final second leg against Fleetwood.

As for the longer term, PNE are looking to agree a new contract with Brownhill.

His current deal runs out at the end of the season and there have been talks with his representative.

North End are keen to get a core of young players in their squad, with Brownhill fitting that pattern.

The signings of Pearson and Liam Grimshaw from Manchester United this month, demonstrate that, so too the loan deals for Adam Reach and Callum Robinson.

With the emergency loan window set to end after this season, clubs will have to carry bigger squads to see them through between the transfer windows.

North End are without a game this weekend and resume action against Derby County on Tuesday night.

Tom Clarke’s fitness will be assessed ahead of the trip, the skipper having missed the Ipswich and Brentford games because of a groin injury suffered in the warm-up before playing Ipswich.