Exclusive Sean Gregan Preston North End column: Pearson must learn lesson

A shot from Bolton Wanderers' Sammy Ameobi goes through the legs of PNE keeper Declan Rudd
A shot from Bolton Wanderers' Sammy Ameobi goes through the legs of PNE keeper Declan Rudd

I am not going to lecture any player on their on-pitch discipline, as I was hardly a saint during my playing days but I’m sure Preston midfielder Ben Pearson won’t be happy with his red card against Bolton.

To have got sent off after the final whistle is not the brightest thing to do and the lad will have to learn from the mistake he made.

A three-match ban and a lighter wage packet could well be the consequence of what Pearson did. He is a big part of the PNE team, a 
talented player, and for him to miss three key games 
coming up is a big blow.

It is all about learning some self control and that will come hopefully through experience and age.

I remember playing for Preston against Chesterfield in my first 18 months at the club.

During the game I got wound up by their big striker Jason Lee, did something silly and got a red card.

I took off the captain’s armband and threw it 
over towards Lee in 
annoyance.

A few minutes after I had got back in the dressing room, I heard a big cheer and learned that Lee himself had got sent off.

It wasn’t my finest hour and it was an experience I learned from.

I’ve no idea what led to Pearson’s red card and whether something was said in the build-up.

If there was, you just have to learn to count to 10 and ignore it.

Having been 2-0 up in the game, North End will have been naturally disappointed to have drawn with Bolton.

They started well, their movement was good, with Callum Robinson and Alan Browne scoring good goals.

But they then got caught cold with two quick goals and the momentum was with Bolton for a while, the second half becoming something of a scrap as often happens when you’ve had lots of goals in the first half.

Had North End managed to hang on to their lead, it would have been a great win coming off the back of the League Cup victory against Leeds at Elland Road.

Beating Leeds was a really good result, make no bones about it.

Forget about both teams making changes, it is a squad game these days and there were some good players on the pitch.

Leeds have started like a rocket under Marcelo Bielsa, so for North End to have gone there and won – keeping a clean sheet with 10 men for an hour – was a big result.

A run in the cup could do them the world of good, they’ve got Middlesbrough next at home, who will be strong but not unbeatable.

These are early days of the season and while results have been mixed so far, time is on PNE’s side to put things right.

It is finding that balance between keeping things tight at the back and getting the goals at the other end.

Last season they got things right more often than not, hence finishing seventh, which was decent.

Perhaps there is more of an expectation this time and things have yet to click.