Preston North End: Ben Whiteman says he's ready to keep building following his return to action against Watford

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Preston North End’s Ben Whiteman says he’s determined to enjoy a strong end to the season.

The Lilywhites midfielder has missed a number of games so far in 2023 through both injury and suspension.

He returned to action at the weekend in the 0-0 draw with Watford at Vicarage Road after serving a three-match suspension following his red card in last month’s game against Luton Town.

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He said: "It’s been a massively frustrating couple of months, with injuries, playing and then getting sent off.

Ben Whiteman competing with Watford's Joao Pedro (Credit: Andrew Kearns/CameraSport)Ben Whiteman competing with Watford's Joao Pedro (Credit: Andrew Kearns/CameraSport)
Ben Whiteman competing with Watford's Joao Pedro (Credit: Andrew Kearns/CameraSport)

"It’s been a stop-start second half of the season for me but I’m happy to be back, and I can build on that performance.

“I came back for Tottenham and then had another setback.

"Before Luton, it had been building up over a couple of months, where I’ve been picking up little ones, and they’re the most frustrating.

"You can’t really shake them off because you want to play every game and do every training session.

"Football is like that, it’s all about how you react.

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"It was really disappointing, but it is what it is and you move on.

"I need to get more minutes in my legs and keep building up.

"I feel fit and I feel good.

"It gave me some time to reflect- in a mental aspect as well, because it’s 24/7 and I can’t really switch off.

"It’ll never be possible for me to do that, because I’m passionate about it, and any time football is on I put it on the tele.”

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Whiteman had the challenge of facing Watford’s João Pedro on his return to action at the weekend.

“He’s clever, it’s obvious that he’s played in the Premier League,” he added.

"He cheats a lot- I mean that in a football term.

"He picks up clever positions off the back of you, and is outstanding.

"He gets linked with big moves, and I’m sure he’ll get one.

"They are the type of players you want to come up against.

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"You want to test yourself against the best in the league, and he’s definitely up there.

"Credit goes out to the whole team, I thought we were really good.

"The next games are massive, building form because you want good performances, and who knows where that can take you.”