Exclusive Ben Pearson PNE column

I am aware I am walking a disciplinary tightrope
I am aware I am walking a disciplinary tightrope
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Iam all too aware that I am edging ever closer to a trip down to London to discuss my on-field disciplinary record.

The 
booking I received on 
Tuesday night against 
Birmingham City was my 12th of the season.

I have already served two suspensions this season – a one-game ban for picking up five bookings and then I missed two games last month after I was shown my 10th yellow card in the FA Cup game against Arsenal.

The latest indiscretion means I am now just three cautions away from a 
three-game ban and a 
probable fine from the FA.

I think with my combative style of play, picking up yellow cards is an occupational hazard but I know there are certain elements of my game I could improve upon.

I can cut out the ones that I pick up for dissent and that would probably mean five or six bookings less per season.

So that is something that I am looking to work on, but it is all a learning curve for me.

I am 22-years-old – still quite young – and I do get frustrated at times with other players and the referee during games.

But with experience, I think that area of my game will sort itself out.

I don’t get too much stick off the rest of the lads about my disciplinary record.

There’s a bit of banter flying around about me and Greg Cunningham having a competition, because he’s gone over the 10-bookings mark too.

I am just going to keep 
going over the rest of the 
season, play my normal game and not worry too much about getting booked.

If the three-game suspension comes, it comes. I will certainly not be in the 
business of avoiding any 50/50 challenges this weekend when we travel to face Wigan Athletic for a big 
derby encounter.

These are the types of games that suit my style – lots of energy and there will probably be a few tackles flying in.

Let’s hope I manage to stay out of the referee’s notebook.

I believe there will be 
almost 5,000 fans in the away end at the DW Stadium, which should create a terrific atmosphere.

We have been particularly good at beating our local rivals over the past couple of seasons. I think we collected maximum points from the away derbies last season and this year we have beaten both Wigan and Blackburn at home already.

With a trip to Ewood Park to come next month as well, it will be nice to keep the winning record over our neighbours intact.

The Latics won their last game, so will have confidence and they are fighting to get out of the Championship relegation zone.

I think the pressure will be on them a bit more than it will be on us, so that could help us get the right result.

It is an exciting game 
and one we are all looking forward.

Hopefully we can put a performance in for the fans and continue our recent good form.

The past week have 
been really good for us – 
picking up two wins at Deepdale against Brentford on Saturday and Birmingham City on Tuesday night.

I would say they were two of our best performances of the season – certainly in the second half against Brentford and the first half against Birmingham.

I think the only disappointing thing about the game on Tuesday night was the fact that we did not score more than the two goals.

The gaffer said after the game that we should have been out of sight at half-time with the amount of clear chances we created.

That has been a curse of ours I think this season. 
We do seem to miss a few chances and the scoreline 
really should have been three or four nil.

As it was, instead of 
having the game done and dusted at half-time, we only had the one goal through Callum Robinson and it still meant we had a lot to do in the second half.

And sure enough, we were hit by a sucker-punch straight after half-time when City forward Che Adams 
volleyed an half-chance into the bottom corner.

It was a bit of a blow especially as up until then we had been so dominant. But we kept going and managed to get the winner through 
Jordan Hugill.

I think what has been 
surprising this week is that despite picking up maximum points, we haven’t gained any ground on the teams in the play-off places.

That is the Championship for you, but we’ve just got to concentrate on keeping our performance levels high and see if we can sneak into a play-off spot.