Pearson: I’ll carry on tackling

Ben Pearson is ticked-off by referee Robert Madley against Arsenal
Ben Pearson is ticked-off by referee Robert Madley against Arsenal
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Preston midfielder Ben Pearson admits he is unlikely to change his combative style of play in the wake of a second suspension of the season.

The 22-year-old will miss the games against Brighton and Aston Villa after collecting a 10th yellow card in the FA Cup defeat to Arsenal.

In November, he sat out the win at Rotherham as the punishment for five cautions.

Pearson has been North End’s stand-out player since forcing his way into the team in September.

But he does walk a thin line with referees, Premier League official Robert Madley issuing yellow against Arsenal for a foul on Granit Xhaka.

“There is no point taking it out of my game or else I wouldn’t be the same player,” Pearson told the Evening Post.

“During a season you will miss games through injury and suspension – that is just part of football.

“In the first half of the Arsenal game, we were doing most of the attacking.

“When Arsenal dominated in the second half, you were having to make every tackle you could to help the team and I got the booking.

“It was inevitable I would reach 10 yellows, the cut-off isn’t until March.

“I’ll just have to work hard in training when I’m suspended, hopefully get back into the team and have a good run of games.”

Pearson was no stranger to yellow cards before his arrival at Deepdale from Manchester United a year ago today.

He came with nine cautions to his name after being on loan at Barnsley. The season before, when also on loan at Barnsley, he was booked five times.

Said Pearson: “I got nine bookings for Barnsley before coming here.

“I lasted three or four games before getting a 10th.”

There are various options for Preston manager Simon Grayson when it comes to replacing Pearson for the next two Saturdays.

However, they are not in the Pearson mould and there is no doubt that he will be missed from the engine room.

Putting his yellow card to one side, Pearson felt there were plenty of positives to take from the Arsenal clash.

He said: “It was a very good performance and over the last few months we have produced that quite a few times.

“The display in the Sheffield Wednesday game was very good, we played well down at Nottingham Forest too.

“Saturday wasn’t a one-off just because it was in front of the cameras and because it was Arsenal.

“It does set a benchmark going into the next set of league games.

“We want to kick on from Arsenal. It was disappointing to lose but there were plenty of positives to take from the performance.”

Meanwhile, tickets have gone on sale for North End’s visit to Cardiff on January 31.

They have been allocated 616 seats, priced £22 adults, £18 for 60 and over, £13 for 16 to 21-year-olds and £10 for Under-16s.