Tom Bayliss’ exclusive Preston North End column: I’m learning from best midfielders

Being given a start in the FA Cup tie against Norwich City last week was pleasing for me, although the result was disappointing.

Friday, 10th January 2020, 10:45 am
Tracking Norwich's Ibrahim Amadou during the FA Cup third-round tie

It was nice to get out on to the pitch at Deepdale and I really enjoyed it.

Norwich picked a strong side to play us as they looked for the win to give them some confidence.

They might be bottom of the Premier League but they’ve not been playing too badly and it proved to be a tough afternoon for us.

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In terms of games, I’ve had to bide my time here.

But I can’t complain because there are a great group of players here who have been doing well.

What I’ve been doing is working hard in training, ready for when my chance in the team does come.

There are some really good midfielders here for me to learn from – Paul Gallagher, Ben Pearson, Daniel Johnson, Alan Browne.

Training alongside them and getting advice can only help me develop my game.

I think positional-wise I’m quite similar to Gally but we both bring different things to the table.

Gally is so comfortable on the ball, while I look to get on the ball and move forward with it.

Pearo is someone I can look at to learn the defensive side of the game from. He is also very good on the ball which maybe he doesn’t get the credit for he deserves.

The manager does a lot of work with me in training to help develop my play.

There are a lot of things which are different in the Championship to what I was used to in League One and League Two.

Players are quicker and stronger at this level, it is more competitive.

Tactically too, there is a lot more detail. Teams find different ways to hurt you and that is something we have to be aware of.

I’ve got time on my side, as the lads point out I’m one of the youngest in the dressing room at 20.

With me signing in the summer transfer window, I was one of the newer faces in the Preston squad. That honour now goes to Scott Sinclair, who joined us the other night.

What a good signing that is and he’ll be a great addition to the squad.

Scott is another player who the younger lads can learn from.

He will bring some more experience to the team and has played at the highest level both here in the Premier League and in Scotland with Celtic. 
In his first hour or so with the lads on Thursday morning he already seemed comfortable around the other lads.

Scott is something different to what we have here and he’ll be looking to show the manager and show us what he’s all about.

It is always exciting and intriguing when a new signing comes into the club.

You are keen to see what they can bring to the team in games and in training, you try and learn from them.

He won’t have any difficult settling in here, the lads will make him feel at home straight away.

I settled quickly. I’ve lived away from home since I was 16, so coming to Preston wasn’t a problem.

Quite a few of the lads live in the same area so it is good to have them close by. We can meet up away from training, which is good.