Jordan Storey's seven-month unbroken run in the Preston North End team
Jordan Storey has certainly earned his corn over the last few months in terms of being a fixture in the Preston North End defence.
Last Saturday’s 1-1 draw with West Bromwich Albion saw Storey complete his 28th game in a row.
It is a run which goes back to February, the centre-half having played the full 90 minutes of them all.
Storey is one of two ever-presents in the North End side this season, Andrew Hughes the other.
That is Championship and Carabao Cup, the latter of those two competitions the latest on the agenda for PNE on Tuesday night when they host Cheltenham Town at Deepdale (7.45pm).
We will have to wait until the teamsheet is published to see whether Storey and Hughes are included against the Robins but there is a good chance they will be as Frankie McAvoy seeks to strike a balance between continuity of selection and getting players first-team action.
Storey said: “It has been quite intense, with a Saturday/Tuesday/Saturday schedule throughout.
“Myself and Hughesy have enjoyed it, to play every minute of every game has been enjoyable.
“It’s important to have a lot of core players who have played quite a few games.
“The more games you play, the better in my eyes.”
Storey’s run in the Lilywhites’ defence started in the 2-1 derby victory over Blackburn on February 12. He had been in cold storage before that for a month in the aftermath of a 4-1 defeat at Wycombe in the FA Cup.
Wind the clock forward seven months and the former Exeter City player has become a vital cog in the North End works.
On Monday he signed a new three-year contract, that on top of the remaining few months he had left on previous deal.
Storey is the first from a group of players in the last year of their PNE contracts to have put pen to paper.
“I knew I wanted to stay here and progress as a player,” said Storey.
“If you get into the final few months it would play on your mind a lot.
“You want to know where you are going to be playing and solely focus on football.
“With a contract you tend to leave it in the hands of your agent and trust them to work something out, thankfully mine has done that.
“The people at the club, the coaching staff and those behind the scenes have been great with me.
“It is a tight-knit group, everyone is so friendly and that makes it a lot easier to settle and make decisions.”
North End made it five Championship matches unbeaten with the draw with the Baggies.
That was a hard-fought affair against a big and very physical Albion side.
The unbeaten sequence stretches to six games when the 4-2 win at Morecambe in the Carabao Cup is thrown into the mix.
It was that win a month ago which set up the first ever meeting between North End and Cheltenham, who are ninth in League One.
With an eye on a place in the fourth round and a real determination to keep the unbeaten run going, Storey says this game is being taken with the utmost seriousness.
Said Storey: “You look at the teams left in the draw and there are a lot big clubs, there’s not to many left from the Championship and the leagues below.
“We know that if we play well in this tie and win, we could well come up against one of the big clubs.
“There’s no way we will be under-estimating Cheltenham, they’ve been doing very well.
“You see loads of cup upsets over the years and we don’t want to be another.
“If you can win games in the cup, that gives you confidence for the league matches.
“That is an incentive in itself.”
North End’s good form of the last month or so came after a poor start to the season. They lost their first three Championship matches, beaten by Hull City, Reading and Huddersfield Town.
In between Hull and Reading was a first-round win in the Carabao Cup against Mansfield.
It has been a steady recovery, wins over Peterborough and Swansea followed by draws with Bristol City, Sheffield United and West Bromwich. Storey said: “As a team we knew the first three results weren’t good enough.
“Maybe we were a bit unlucky at Huddersfield but we have bounced back.
“From then onwards things have been positive and we’ve picked up quite a few points.
“We know we are capable of getting good results in this division and we work hard to do that.
“To have played in all of the games has been nice for me and hopefully my run in the team can continue.
“I want to keep playing and learning.”
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