Ben Pearson a "massive loss" for Norwich game admits Preston boss Alex Neil

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Preston boss Alex Neil admits Ben Pearson is a “massive loss” for Saturday’s trip to Norwich.

North End make the trip to Carrow Road this weekend to face their manager’s former club.

Ben Pearson is suspended for Saturday's game at Norwich.

Ben Pearson is suspended for Saturday's game at Norwich.

Neil was in post at the Canaries for more than two years, guiding them to the Premier League in 2015.

The big selection issue for the PNE boss on his return to Norfolk is how to replace Pearson with the midfielder serving a one-match ban this weekend for five bookings.

Said Neil: “Ben is a massive loss for us, particularly going down there because Norwich have some very good No.10s in James Maddison, Wes Hoolahan and even Alex Pritchard who is getting back to fitness.

“That position is key for us and we are going to have to come up with something a bit different.”

John Welsh and Alan Browne who were both on the bench for Tuesday night’s win at Bristol City, could both slot into Pearson’s role.

Neil got Darnell Fisher and Ben Davies back from injury in midweek, the pair bolstering the options at the back.

“With how much we have discussed injuries, when we got players back we needed to perform well, which we did at Bristol City,” said Neil.

“When the majority of our team are available, we are in a better position to get points.”