Liam Grimshaw has been Preston’s right-hand man in the first two games of the season, which has been something of a learning curve according to Simon Grayson.
The 21-year-old played at right wing-back in last week’s defeat at Reading, then as a right-back when PNE beat Hartlepool in midweek.
Grimshaw looked more at home in the right-back role, with Grayson admitting the wing-back slot does take some getting used to.
“Wing-back is a bit different than playing at a full-back,” said Lilywhites boss Grayson.
“Sometimes you have to play a bit further up the pitch as a wing-back.
“At Reading last week, as a team we never got anywhere near them all over the pitch to enable the wing-backs to get up there.
“Greg Cunningham was just as disappointing attacking-wise on the other side because we didn’t get him or Liam the ball or give them protection defensively.
“As a team we were well off it and I could have brought any of the eleven players off at half-time. No matter how experienced a player you are in the wing-back role, you can get caught out in grey areas.
“There is a lot of movement and you have to decide when to go forward and when to defend.
“It is not an easy position to play but it is one you can learn to play as you go on.”
After his substitution at the interval at Reading, Grimshaw played all of the Hartlepool EFL Cup tie which North End won with a stoppage-time goal.
Said Grayson: “I thought Liam played very well the other night.
“He was solid defensively, used the ball well and got forward well.
“I thought he showed more of what he is about there.
“Liam is a versatile lad – if he settles at right-back, so be it. If we put him in the midfield, he will give his all there and do well.”
Grimshaw has been tasked with right-sided duties due to Calum Woods being sidelined for the season. The search for more cover on that side of the pitch saw North End have a bid accepted by Manchester United for Donald Love.
However, Sunderland came in with an offer and Love opted for the switch to the Black Cats with United team-mate Paddy McNair, thus staying in the Premier League.
Grayson said: “I didn’t get to speak with the lad.
“We agreed the fee with United but a couple of hours later, Sunderland came in and agreed a fee.
“They did the double deal with Paddy McNair also going up there.
“It was disappointing to lose out on him but it showed the calibre of player we are looking at.”
Meanwhile, North End’s League Cup second round tie against Oldham has been confirmed for Tuesday, August 23, kick-off 7.45pm.
Tickets are now on sale, priced £10 for fans 17 and over, and £1 for 16 and under.
PNE have asked supporters to buy in advance when possible after long queues formed before the Hartlepool game.