PNE in numbers: All the stats that count

Alan Browne in action against Sunderland last weekend
Alan Browne in action against Sunderland last weekend
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Back in August I wrote a column about how it was about time Preston North End were taken more seriously.

It spoke of the Lilywhites continuing to go under the radar, driven by a cast of emerging players who were largely unsung heroes.

Amongst those was Alan Browne, a player who is now becoming increasingly influential under Alex Neil.

Playing the full 90 minutes against Sunderland on Saturday in a deeper role in the absence of John Welsh saw the Irishman move into the top five when it comes to time on the pitch so far this season.

The 22-year-old has played 842 minutes in total, goalkeeper Chris Maxwell topping the charts on 1,080, having played every minute of the 12 games in league and cup so far this season.

Browne may not have started week in, week out, but has played some part in every game.

It’s a sign that Neil trusts the midfielder to play a certain role for him, the PNE boss having praised the former Cork City man’s 
energy.

Browne appears ideally suited to Neil’s high-pressing style and has more often than not played in a more advanced role than we were used to under Simon Grayson, his new manager believing his relentless work-rate is best used off the front.

It is a position where he should be able to add more goals to his game, Browne on target with that 45-yard strike in the 3-0 win over 
Cardiff last month.

He failed to find the net once last season having previously scored seven North End goals since his move from Ireland in 2014.

Neil has challenged him to add more and few would bet amongst them coming for PNE’s No.8.

He has been part of a 
wider team effort that sees North End sixth in the 
Championship during this international break.

Our man of the match awards have been spread around, Browne the only man to have been given the gong twice as it has been shared widely.

He is therefore unlucky that he is at Springfields during the break from league action and not away with the Republic of Ireland.

Sean Maguire and Daryl Horgan have made the cut, with Browne on the fringes.

He will be keen to add to the one cap he picked up against Mexico in New Jersey back in June sooner rather than later.

One last thing...last week’s PNE in Numbers highlighted the Lilywhites passing 5,000 Football League points with their win over Hull.

This is in fact incorrect, a technical error with the data being used having been highlighted after publication.