Injuries are inevitable admits Preston North End boss

Alex Neil thinks the intensity which Preston play and train at will lead to players suffering niggling injuries.

Thursday, 21st September 2017, 7:00 am
Updated Wednesday, 27th September 2017, 11:38 am
Ben Pearson is one of a number of players to pick up an injury
Ben Pearson is one of a number of players to pick up an injury

Daniel Johnson, Darnell Fisher and Ben Pearson have all missed games of late.

Johnson returned to the side at Birmingham after missing two games, scoring PNE’s first goal in the 3-1 win.

Right-back Fisher missed the trip to St Andrews with a tight groin but could be back for Saturday’s Deepdale clash with Millwall.

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Pearson’s absence is likely to stretch beyond Millwall’s visit, Neil doubting he will be back for the weekend.

North End manager Neil said: “I think it is probably the intensity we are playing at.

“I don’t like naming other teams and I won’t, but in one game this season we ran 5km more than the other team.

“Over a 90-minute match that is an incredible amount. The intensity, work-rate, legs and energy we have got, if teams are not up for that, they are going to find us a problem.

“Equally, that comes at the expense sometimes of some players getting a few niggling injuries because they are working at such a high tempo.

“I have got a huge belief in the way I want my teams to play, I have been successful at doing it at two clubs.

“This is my third club and I want to try and do it again here.

“I know what it takes to get a successful team going and I have got a really good group of players at the moment who I think are capable of doing that.”

Paul Gallagher will miss the Millwall game because of illness, as he did last week at Birmingham.

Said Neil: “Gally is unwell and he is certainly not going to be available.

“I don’t think Ben Pearson is going to make it for this one.

“I’m hoping that Darnell Fisher will be okay, we’ve still got a couple of bits and bobs 
to do with him before the weekend.”

In Pearson’s absence, Neil has mixed and matched in the centre of midfield.

Gallagher and Alan Browne were paired together for the 1-1 draw with Barnsley.

In the 3-0 win over Cardiff, John Welsh started his first game in 11 months alongside Browne.

Against Birmingham, Johnson partnered Browne, with Welsh joining the action from the bench later.

Said Neil: “It will be good to get a few bodies back, we’ve been spread pretty thin in terms of injuries.”

Meanwhile, PNE are down to the last 200 tickets of their initial allocation for Tuesday night’s visit to Hull.

Those tickets cost £12 and once sold, the cost of the next block of seats rises to £18 due to Hull operating a zonal price policy.

North End are offering coach travel for just £8.