Pearson praises PNE’s recovery against Burton

Preston North End's Ben Pearson battles with Burton Albion's Matt Palmer
Preston North End's Ben Pearson battles with Burton Albion's Matt Palmer
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Ben Pearson admitted Burton could have been two or three to the good after Preston’s slow start in their Deepdale draw.

Jackson Irvine’s 23rd-minute strike handed the Brewers an early advantage as several other chances came and went for Nigel Clough’s Brewers at Deepdale.

Simon Grayson’s men improved though and Callum Robinson’s goal in first-half stoppage time ultimately ensured PNE took a share of spoils.

“They just started quicker than we did,” said Pearson after the 1-1 draw.

“We tried to start quickly but for whatever reason we couldn’t get going.

“I’m not sure if we couldn’t handle their formation for the first 15 minutes or something like that but it was tough.

“When they got the goal it was disappointing but it was a bonus that we got the goal before half-time.

“We did weather the storm to some extent.

“We could have been two or three down so I think we did terrifically well to go in at 1-1.”

Burton were in PNE’s faces from the off, Pearson conceding it was something of a taste of their own medicine, high pressing having been a feature of Preston’s play against the Championship big boys during their upturn in form over the last couple of months.

“It was sort of roles reversed,” said the midfielder.

“They were doing what we did to the likes of (Aston) Villa.

“But we’ve seen that no team can do it for the full 90 minutes and in the second half we knew we’d get chances when they tired.”

North End did improve, Robinson’s goal a reward for an increased tempo to their play, coming after a fine move involving Daniel Johnson, Aiden McGeady, Pearson himself and Greg Cunningham.

They were then well on top for the opening period of the second half but as against Wolves seven days earlier, PNE couldn’t make it count and had to settle for a point for the second week running.

“The last 15 or 20 minutes of the first half we started getting the ball down and playing,” said Pearson, who saw one shot from distance go narrowly wide.

“We were cutting through them.

“The first 20 minutes of every Championship game seems to be fast with long balls as both teams try and build momentum.

“It didn’t swing in our favour this week but second half we can be proud of what we’ve done.

“We’ve caused them problems, created chances, it’s just that finishing touch we’ve struggled with.

“I think maybe a point’s a fair result but we could easily have taken three.”

Pearson was named man of the match for his efforts and was content with his contribution having cemented his place in Grayson’s side after a slow start to the season.

“I think I did okay,” he said.

“In the first half I probably didn’t win as many second balls as I usually do.

“I was neat and tidy but didn’t really create much.

“But in the second half I think as a team and as an individual I think we performed a lot better.

“We were able to get amongst them and I was keeping the ball a lot better and creating chances.

“If we perform like we did in the second half then we’ve got a chance against anyone.”