Midfielder ready to fight for PNE place

John Welsh played his part in PNE's fightback against Huddersfield

John Welsh played his part in PNE's fightback against Huddersfield

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John Welsh was delighted to play his part in Preston North End’s fightback against Huddersfield after nearly a month without seeing action.

His arrival in the second half reinforced a midfield which was being overrun and helped Simon Grayson’s men get more of a foothold in the game.

The 32-year-old had not played in the side since last month’s FA Cup defeat at Peterborough.

In the meantime, Welsh had been an unused substitute twice and missed out on the matchday squad altogether for the games against Bristol City and Derby County.

Welsh told the Evening Post: “The gaffer wanted me to sit in and let Alan Browne and Daniel Johnson push on.

“Jamie Paterson had been getting into little pockets of space for Huddersfield and was hurting us. Having an extra player in there helped put a stop to that and eventually worked in our favour.

“On a personal note, it was nice to be out there again and I felt in good condition.

“When I’ve not been playing I have trained hard, looked after myself and eaten right.

“I’ve learned with the way the gaffer works that you can quickly get a chance.

“He keeps everyone closely involved and you have to be ready to go straight in.

“I went from not being in the squad at Derby to playing more than an half-an-hour of the Huddersfield game.

“If you work hard and train properly here, the gaffer will always give you a chance.

“There is no point getting the hump and not training right – that is not going to get you anywhere.”

Welsh will be hoping for further involvement when North End tackle Wolves at Molineux on Saturday.

The reverse fixture in September was eventful, PNE finishing with nine men after red cards for Joe Garner and Bailey Wright.

An early goal from Daniel Johnson separated the sides until Wolves netted a 90th-minute equaliser.

“We got caught by a sucker punch that day,” said Welsh.

“It looked like we were going hold out with nine men but it wasn’t to be.

“At the time we were going through a bit of a tough patch, getting used to the division.

“The Championship is tough and that Wolves game was one which we deserved more from.

“Hopefully we can go to their place at the weekend and go one better.

“Our away form has been quite good of late – we’ve had good results in the league at Derby, Ipswich and Bristol City.

“In away games, we seem to be well organised and the shape of the team is good.

“The basics are always there, we are good defensively and will go there with confidence after the last two results.”

Meanwhile, Sheffield Wednesday have sold more than 2,700 tickets for their clash with PNE at Deepdale a week on Saturday.

Wednesday supporters are being allocated all of the Bill Shankly Kop.