Ball-winning Preston North End midfielder Ryan Ledson won’t change his style

Preston midfielder Ryan Ledson will not temper his natural combative style even if it could see him run the risk of falling foul of the officials at times.

By Craig Salmon
Thursday, 20th August 2020, 8:00 am

The 23-year-old – who celebrated his birthday yesterday – has built a reputation as someone who enjoys a tackle or two.

It would be wrong to suggest that tackling is an art which has gone out of football, but it is fair to say the modern-day game is less lenient to errant challenges than it may have been in the past.

Referees are much more likely to brandish yellow and red cards for any tackles which are mistimed and perceived to be dangerous.

North End ace Ryan Ledson wins a tackle against Huddersfield Town

It means ball winners like Ledson can find themselves walking a disciplinary tightrope as they try to impose their style on a game.

Before arriving at North End in the summer of 2018, Ledson picked up 21 bookings for Oxford United.

Just five games into his PNE career, he was shown red – the first of his senior career – against Leeds United in the Carabao Cup – although North End would go on to win the match 2-0 at Elland Road.

At the end of that season, the former Everton youngster was handed his marching orders again when North End were beaten 2-0 at Wigan Athletic.

In the main, Ledson’s caution count in a Lilywhites’ jersey has not been too bad – just the eight from 45 appearances. He insists that tackling will remain a big part of his game and trying to change that will take something away from his overall game.

However, he concedes that he must be smart in the way he carries out his duties in order to remain on the right side of referees.

“Tackling is a part of my game and I’m never going to shy away from a tackle,” said Ledson, who is entering the final year of his current deal at Deepdale and is in discussions with the club’s hierarchy about signing a new one.

“There is obviously a certain point where you can’t go over and obviously once or twice I have gone over that point.

“You learn from that though and I’m still a young lad.

“You sort of understand you can’t get away with certain things that you probably may have got away with arguably four or five years ago.

“But with the way things have gone – you can’t get away with it any more.”

Ledson and his team-mates will begin preparations for the forthcoming season when they take on League Two outfit Salford City in a pre-season friendly on Saturday, followed by Tranmere Rovers on Tuesday.

The new Championship fixtures for the 2020/21 season are expected to be released tomorrow morning.