FOUR talking points from Preston North End's home draw with Wycombe, as Neil Warnock's Middlesbrough come calling next

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Preston managed to snatch a late draw against Wycombe, sharing the spoils in a 2-2 draw.

Tom Barkhuizen opened the scoring for PNE before they surrendered their lead in the second half and their blushes were spared only by an own goal.

TOM SANDELLS looks at the four talking points from the game.

1. The Pearson problem.

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Brad Potts shields the ball from Wycombe Wanderers' Nick Freeman and David WheelerBrad Potts shields the ball from Wycombe Wanderers' Nick Freeman and David Wheeler
Brad Potts shields the ball from Wycombe Wanderers' Nick Freeman and David Wheeler

Ben Pearson suffered what looked like a nasty ankle injury in Saturday’s game. The midfielder picked up possession on the edge of the Wanderers’ box and looked to turn as he usually does to gain a yard.

This time, however, the turf gave way underneath him and followed with his foot. As the rest of his body tried to complete the change of direction, the 25-year-old had all his weight go over his poorly positioned ankle.

He immediately dropped to the floor in some discomfort and was helped off without putting weight back on it.

There is a scan planned for early this week.

The issue, aside from the injury to him, is that his absence is sorely missed. It was a fairly even contest in the first half with PNE potentially edging it but a lot of that was down to Pearson’s control in the mdifeld.

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North End’s influence on the game was only growing as the half wore on but after half time, without their No.4, they were outplayed.

Pearson and Ryan Ledson work very well alongside each other and the former allows the latter to play more of his riskier, cutting passes.

The draw was not all down to the absence of one man, but it was certainly affected by it – and so will other results in the future.

2. Where do the goals come from at home?

This might seem a silly point after scoring twice but they didn’t come from a reliable source. Barkhuizen jumped in to capitalise on a poor header back to the goalkeeper, and the second goal came from a Scott Sinclair cross that was turned into the net by a Wycombe man.

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PNE cannot rely on either scenario and chances went begging otherwise.

There have been games where they simply haven’t looked like scoring, though Saturday they did and yet they were made to rue the missed opportunities.

Wycombe, with the greatest of respect, will not be the toughest opposition they face this campaign either, and if you can’t find the net and win a game in those circumstances – with clear-cut chances – it doesn’t bode well for the tougher opponents.

3. Better than nothing.

Without wanting to be too negative, PNE did come away with a point and that is a positive. They didn’t lose, they add to their points tally and it helps them move towards where they want to be.

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With the awful home record they have, maybe a point is something you take and build on. They didn’t play at their best, were lucky to get anything in the end but sometimes that’s football and you take it and run.

That’s two games unbeaten in the last week, coming away from Bournemouth away and Wycombe at home with four points doesn’t sound terrible, though it doesn’t tell a full story.

4. A chance to bounce back.

Another home game is just around the corner. Next up is Middlesbrough, another physcial, direct side and the Wycombe point may have set them up quite nicely going into it.

They will certainly need to play much better against an effective Neil Warnock side but they go into it having picked up a late equaliser.

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That’s much better for morale than dropping points late, it’s a point gained rather than two dropped and that’s the mentality the Lilywhites need to take to hopefully end the dreadful home run.

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