Ben Pearson admits it has been a “funny” season having stormed back into the Preston North End reckoning over the last couple of weeks.
The former Manchester United midfielder hardly kicked a ball in anger in the early weeks of the season but has started three of the last four games.
He scored the opener in the 2-0 win over Aston Villa last Saturday in what turned into a man-of-the-match display as the Lilywhites all but ended Roberto Di Matteo’s short time in charge at Villa Park.
Pearson said: “It’s been a bit of a funny season really.
“I haven’t been involved for whatever reason but I’m getting back into the swing of things now.
“I’ve been training well and I was just waiting to get my chance and take it.
“I’ve gone to sleep thinking, ‘What’s going to happen over these next couple of months’?
“But you’ve just got to come into training every morning and give it your all.
“You never know what’s around the corner.”
The star showing against Villa came as part of a three-man central midfield, John Welsh sitting in front of the back four allowing Pearson and Daniel Johnson to drive forward.
Pearson said: “I like Welshy and DJ in there.
“Welshy holds it nicely so I can get forward and DJ’s like me and wants to break forward.
“It’s working really well and long may it continue.”
It was the final game before the international break, with an improving PNE side’s next game not until the trip to Brighton on October 15.
Pearson said: “It’s one of them – it’s probably not come at a good time results-wise but it’ll be good for people’s legs because it’s been a busy month.
“We’ve trained a lot as well and haven’t had many days off this month.
“It has probably come at the right time fatigue-wise but we’ll be looking to carry the performances on when we get back.”
Picking up from where they left off will be easier said than done for North End, who face a tough October as they take on Brighton, Huddersfield, Norwich and Newcastle, in both league and cup, before the month is out.
Pearson said: “I think the next five games are all big teams.
“I think it was important to get at least some points on Saturday going into the next five games because there are a tough lot of fixtures.”