PNE Exclusive: Ben Pearson column

I am so excited about playing at Deepdale for the first time against Brentford this weekend
I am so excited about playing at Deepdale for the first time against Brentford this weekend
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Two good displays and one ‘very iffy’ performance is probably how I would best describe my time at Preston North End so far.

I was really pleased with the way I played in the win away at Bristol City on my debut and last weekend’s battling draw against Ipswich.

But the less said about my singing performance in front of the rest of the lads, the better!

My initiation into the squad involved flexing my vocal chords in a solo performance.

As a fan of Michael Jackson, I opted to do ‘Man in the Mirror’ – much to the rest of the lads’ amusement.

You have got to do it, it’s all good fun and it turned out okay in the end, although I have to admit my singing voice is horrific.

Thankfully, I have been able to show the lads what I’m best at – on the football pitch.

I was a little surprised to be pitched straight into the team for the trip to Ashton Gate just a day after arriving from Manchester United.

Obviously I have played a number of games for Barnsley on loan in League One, but this is my first taste of Championship football.

It is a change in standard and you have got to adjust. I was a bit shocked at first as to how fast and strong some of the players are.

I think it will take a number of games for me to become fully accustomed to the rigours of the Championship, but I’m sure in five or 10 games time I will be flying. So far, the gaffer has asked me to sit deeper, but I can play more as a box-to-box midfielder.

I am not too bothered where the manager wants to play me to be honest.

I probably prefer to play a little deeper because it allows me to get forward at certain times when the opposition are not expecting it.

That was the case against Ipswich last weekend when it looked like I had opened my goalscoring account for the club.

I managed to get forward, play a one-two with Eoin Doyle and steer the ball home. The goal being chalked off was not a surprise to me because I had heard the whistle blow just as I was about to shoot.

It was a little disappointing because it would have given us the lead, but these things happen.

Looking at the video, Eoin was probably just marginally offside when I passed to him, but I am sure I will get other opportunities to get on the scoresheet.

I have throughly enjoyed my first couple of weeks at the club. The lads have made me really welcome.

It was good that we had the week away as a squad in between the Bristol City and Ipswich games. It allowed me to get my foot in the door and I could not have asked for a better start. I think in general the team has been doing great.

For a team which has just won promotion, to be sitting where we are in the table is a good achievement especially when you see Bristol and MK Dons, who finished above us last year, down near the bottom.

There is a real quality in the squad and the team spirit and work ethic is unbelievable. Everybody just wants to work hard for each other.

This weekend is my first opportunity to play in front of my own fans at Deepdale when we host Brentford.

I am really excited about the prospect – I just can’t wait to get on the pitch and have my first experience of playing at Deepale.

Obviously I saw the stadium when I signed and it looks a great venue. The pitch looked nice too so it should be a great occasion for me.

Brentford are a good side with play-off ambitions, but we are only a point behind them so it just goes to show how well we have done.

I have noticed the play-offs being mentioned with regards to us in certain sections of the media, but I don’t think you can say we are aiming for the play-offs.

It’s just a case of taking it game by game and the way we are going, you never know what can happen over the rest of the season.

I think as long as we keep looking up, rather than down, that is main thing.