Exclusive Ryan Ledson Preston North End column: The quality of Mersey at Deepdale!

Being a Scouser, it was good to see signings from both Everton and Liverpool in the transfer window.

Thursday, 11th February 2021, 4:45 pm

Anthony Gordon has come in from my former club Everton and Sepp van den Berg from Liverpool.

They are both good young players and have settled in well over the last couple of weeks.

Anthony was a player I knew a lot about before he came to Preston.

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I still follow Everton’s progress closely and he was a talented young lad coming through the system.

I’ve got a mate at Everton who knows Anthony well, so there was a link there.

Sepp is obviously a young player highly regarded by Liverpool.

I’m sure both will benefit from coming here on loan and playing regular football.

We saw what both could do during the Rotherham game last week and as time goes on, I’m sure we will see even more from them.

When you get any new player coming to a club, it is important they are welcomed to the dressing room and made to feel at home.

With young lads that is even more important and it is up to us as more experienced players to help that settling-in process.

Sepp coming here was part of the deal which saw Ben Davies go to Liverpool.

I want to wish Ben all the best, I’m absolutely made up for him.

He deserved that move because he’s such a talented player who has worked hard to develop his game.

Liverpool didn’t come calling for him by accident, they had done their research on him and knew what kind of player they’d be getting.

Hopefully he will make his debut soon and start showing what he can do at the top level.

His move did happen very quickly – one day Ben was playing in our team, the next he was on his way.

That is how it often happens in football, one day you are there, the next you’re somewhere else.

On the pitch, we are all looking forward to the derby game against Blackburn at Ewood Park. When fans were allowed in the ground, this one was always the biggest away game for our supporters.

For us to run out and see 7,000 Preston fans at that end of Ewood Park was something special.

Obviously it is going to be very different this time with the stadium empty.

The fans will be a big miss to us, as they have been in every game – win, lose or draw – since the pandemic started and football was moved behind closed doors.

The game is being shown on TV and we know the fans will be cheering us on from the safety of their homes.

It will be a tough game against Blackburn, they are a strong team who have had some very good results this season.

We have to go there and compete strongly, win our battles and show what we are all about.

Just moving back to the fans, we are getting close to it being a year since we last played in front of a crowd, bar the away games at Norwich and Luton when a limited number of home supporters were allowed.

When football stopped last March, I never thought that we would still be playing now behind closed doors.

It will probably be next season when fans start to come back.