Ben Whiteman sets his sights on Nottingham Forest after Preston North End’s ‘disciplined’ Bournemouth victory
There were a few firsts when Preston North End came away from Bournemouth with victory in midweek.
The Cherries were beaten for the first time in the Championship this season and it was the first win on the road in the league for PNE.
Ali McCann scored his first goal in a North End shirt and Ben Whiteman wasn’t going to miss out on the ‘first’ fun either.
Whiteman scored for the first time in an away game, his four previous strikes having come at Deepdale.
It was his 52nd-minute goal which put the Lilywhites in front at the Vitality Stadium.
If the plan had been to hold on to the 1-0 lead, that went out of the window when Bournemouth pulled level on the hour.
A team in North End’s position, without an away win, might have been tempted to shut up shop and settle for a point.
Credit to them that they kept looking to counter-attack and McCann got the winner with 12 minutes remaining on the clock.
Whiteman saluted a job well done on the South Coast, one which PNE could only briefly enjoy before attentions turned to Saturday’s clash with Nottingham Forest at the City Ground.
“We probably shocked a lot of people with that win,” said Whiteman as he reflected on the 2-1 win.
“I thought the performance was outstanding, it was so disciplined.
“We limited them to bits and pieces really, bar that late save Daniel Iversen had to make – what a save that was.
“I think we deserved the win and to score in the game was really nice from my point of view.
“We’d worked a lot on how Bournemouth play.
“Their two number eights play in the pocket and like to get on the ball, Dominic Solanke up front is good with his back to goal, and they’ve got two wide players who like to create and come inside.
“The plan was to limit them as much as possible, stop them getting on the ball in areas where they could hurt us.
“Their goal wasn’t really one they created with anything special, there were a few ricochets before it got to the lad who put it away well.
“In training on Monday and Tuesday we had worked really hard on our shape and discipline.
“It was the same sort of game plan we’d had against Liverpool the week before.”
Both North End goals came when they found space down the side of the Bournemouth defence.
Whiteman got on the end of a delivery from Tom Barkhuizen from the right wing.
McCann’s winner came from the other side, Emil Riis getting to the byline and cutting the ball back.
Looking back on the goals, Whiteman said: “It was Barky with the cross for mine, a nice ball in.
“I think it got a bit of a deflection and fell for me in the box – I managed to put it away.
“For the second, Emil made a fantastic run and Ali finished it off brilliantly.
“It was a bit of a relief for me to score because I keep thinking back to that chance I missed at Blackpool.
“Hopefully I can move on from that. I think that’s four for the season and five in all for Preston.
“I’m quite happy with that tally but I’ll be aiming for more because it’s important we get plenty of goals from midfield.”
The fixture schedule in the Championship means a quick turnaround.
No sooner were the team back in Lancashire than the build-up started to the Forest clash.
A Wednesday/Saturday programme is demanding but it is a chance to finish this block of games before the international break on a high note.
PNE fans are going in their numbers to the City Ground, with Whiteman full of praise for the 307 at Bournemouth.
“I thought the fans were outstanding, it was a really long way for them to go in midweek,” said Whiteman.
“To send them home with a win was brilliant and we want to do that again on Saturday.”