Alan Browne hoping his role as stand-in Preston North End right-back is just temporary

Alan Browne does not mind being Preston’s emergency right-back but hopes to return to midfield soon.

By Dave Seddon
Thursday, 5th December 2019, 6:00 am
Alan Browne played at right-back in Preston's defeat to West Bromwich Albion
Alan Browne played at right-back in Preston's defeat to West Bromwich Albion

The Republic of Ireland international played in the backline in Monday night’s 1-0 defeat to West Bromwich Albion at Deepdale.

Against Derby 12 days ago, Browne was switched from midfield to play at right-back for the second half.

He also started four games earlier in the campaign in the full-back slot.

Injuries have led to Browne having to show his versatility, hence a wish they can quickly clear up to allow him to move further up the pitch.

The 24-year-old caught the eye in the WBA game playing at right-back, so much so that he won the sponsors’ man of the match award.

Browne said: “I just try to give it a go wherever I’m put. Obviously it wouldn’t be my first choice to play as a right-back but given the circumstances I was happy to go there.

“I don’t mind playing there to be fair, it’s a bit different to what I’m used to but I adjust.

“On Monday it was tough to get on the ball so I concentrated on defending as well as I could.

“We defended really well as a team until that last bit of the game when they got the penalty.”

Browne, Darnell Fisher, Tom Clarke and Ryan Ledson have all played at right-back this season.

Fisher has been there the majority of the time but has not played since being substituted at half-time at Derby. He is carrying an injury which is being assessed ahead of Saturday’s visit to Queens Park Rangers.

Another issue for Fisher is that he is one yellow card away from a two-match ban.

Clarke had a couple of games there early on in the season but a knee ligament injury had kept him sidelined since August.

Browne said: “It’s crazy but I’m sure other teams go through bad spells with injuries too.

“Hopefully we can get a few of the lads back quickly and then stay clear of them.”

Although he played in the defence, Browne went closest to scoring on Monday.

He saw a goalbound shot in the second half cleared off the line by Nathan Ferguson.

Browne had taken the corner in the build-up to the chance, moving inside to be picked out by a pass from Sean Maguire.

“There were a lot of bodies in the way and I just tried to get it on target,” said Browne.

“I thought it was going in but then it got blocked and it wasn’t to be.

“On another night it might have gone in and led to us getting something.

“It was disappointing to lose but we’ll get ready to go again at QPR.”