PNE star felt like a kid again

John Welsh admitted that his recall to the Preston North End side for the victory over Queens Park Rangers had taken him back to his youth.

Monday, 22nd August 2016, 5:00 am
North End celebrate Jermaine Beckford's opening goal in the win at QPR

The 2-0 win at Loftus Road was the midfielder’s first appearance since April.

Welsh was pivotal in an excellent team performance which got PNE off the mark in the Championship at the fourth time of asking.

“At the hotel, just before we got on the coach to go to the game, there was a quick meeting when the gaffer named the team,” Welsh told the Evening Post.

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“When I got out of the meeting, I was texting people, it was like breaking into the first-team as a kid again!

“I texted my mum and others in my family.

“To say I was excited was a bit of an under-statement.

“I was delighted to get back in, I always train hard and prepare right physically and mentally.

“I’ve worked with the gaffer a lot, I know things can change quickly, so it was just a case of making sure I was ready.

“The way the gaffer works is that you are never far out of his plans.

“If you are training well and working hard, you are always in with a shout with him.

“I was disappointed not to have been in the side for the previous games and the gaffer knows that – like everyone, I’m here to play football.

“The gaffer put a lot of faith in me and I wanted to repay him, show him that he can trust me.”

Welsh, 32, played in a deep midfield role against QPR.

Jermaine Beckford gave North End a first-half lead, with QPR defender Nedum Onuoha putting through his own goal – under pressure from Callum Robinson – for the second.

Said Welsh: “Everyone knows what I enjoy doing on the pitch.

“Some players enjoy scoring, some enjoy taking defenders on, I’m different – I love the unity of the back three/five, everyone being together.

“The performance at QPR was an unbelievable team performance, everyone to a man – even the lads who came on – worked their socks off.

“That is what we are good at, we have always been good at that. When results aren’t going well, that is what you have to go back to.

“The gaffer gave us instructions to get back to basics, work hard, tackle, head.

“We have got good players in the squad who can express themselves when needs-be.

“It was a case of getting back to what we are good at and that epitomises what we based our success on last year.

“You look at people like Callum Robinson who is not known for his tackling, he chased everything from minute one to the final whistle.

“Tommy Spurr, who has been in a similar position to myself in not playing games, came into the team and he was up and down the left from start to finish.”

North End return to action tomorrow night against Oldham at Deepdale in the EFL Cup second round.