Former Liverpool starlet Ben Woodburn hoping to keep impressing for Preston North End after first league goal

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Ben Woodburn is focused on staying in the Preston North End team after he scored his first league goal for the club last weekend.
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The Welshman opened the scoring at Ewood Park with a cool finish to net for the second time in PNE colours, his first in the Championship. His previous goal came in the Carabao Cup second round defeat to Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Woodburn has had to be patient this season for chances from the off, whilst at the same time he has had some misfortune with injury. He was in fine form against Coventry City when given a starting spot but was forced off through injury.

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Preston North End's Ben Woodburn celebrates scoring against Blackburn RoversPreston North End's Ben Woodburn celebrates scoring against Blackburn Rovers
Preston North End's Ben Woodburn celebrates scoring against Blackburn Rovers

With a chance to stake a claim again, the 23-year-old is keen to take it.

He said: “To get the first goal and get us going was a pretty nice feeling. To end up with four goals was really good, the whole team played really well and it is just the icing on the cake for me to get a goal as well.

"The pass for me was pretty perfect and my first touch was good and that's the main thing when you go through on goal, if your touch is good you're always confident and I felt like I was always going to score that goal.

“I think I've done well coming off the bench and I've always had the aim of starting games, I got my chance at the weekend and I think I did pretty well.

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"Hopefully I can keep that going and if the gaffer picks me I've just got to keep trying to perform on the pitch and helping the team. I don't really have a favourite position, I'm happy to play where the manager wants me to play.

"I think the role at the weekend suits the way I play, where I get after the ball off the ball and then when I'm on it I'm near the goal and I can try and make things happen.”

Woodburn signed a 12-month contract at PNE in the summer, although the club holds an option to extend by a further 12 months but it’s not currently the focus for the midfielder.

"At the minute I'm just trying to play games,” he said. “You've got to just push that to the side. It would be amazing to sign a new deal but you've just got to keep going, keep impressing the manager. I've just got to let the football do the talking.

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“It's nice to feel a part of a team and know I'm hopefully here for the long run. I't about trying to play regular games and doing well on the pitch.

"The manager has given me a lot of confidence and helped me a lot with the way that we've been playing. All of the staff have really, they've all been really welcoming. It's helped on the pitch to be welcoming and comfortable.”

Queens Park Rangers are next up for PNE on Saturday, now under head coach Neil Critchley. Woodburn played under the former Liverpool academy coach at Melwood and at Blackpool, where he went on loan, but there is no friendship there this weekend.

He said: “I was with him a lot at the academy and he was really good for my development. He's a really nice man, a great gaffer and I wish him all the best. I'm sure he'll do really well at the club but hopefully not this weekend. We're not mates this weekend.”