Josh Harrop happy to be back in the frame for Preston North End start

Josh Harrop was pleased to get his first Preston start since lockdown and is happy to show his versatility to get a run in the side.

By Dave Seddon
Tuesday, 7th July 2020, 8:00 am

The 24-year-old was in the starting XI for the goalless draw at Huddersfield and played for 72 minutes.

He had been an unused sub at Luton in the first game back, before coming off the bench in the two Deepdale defeats to Cardiff and Derby.

Harrop operated on the left side of midfield on Saturday, a position from where he looks to cut inside on to his right foot.

Preston North End midfielder Josh Harrop

Whether he could get more involved playing centrally is a debate to be had. That said, it is a position which has served him well at times this season.

Harrop said: “I don’t mind playing off the left at all.

“I also like playing in the No.10 role or as the ‘eight’. I think my preferred position is to play in a three in midfield where there is a sitter, an ‘eight’ and myself.

“But I don’t mind rolling in from that left side.

“That is a position I have played quite a lot this season and I’ve got a few goals from playing there – it’s been quite effective.

“I’ll play anywhere in the team because like any player I want a run in the team.

“It’s not nice when you aren’t playing. When we had come back after being off and I was fit and ready, it was a bit of a setback not to play.

“As a footballer you have to be able to deal with that mentally not get too upset or stressed about it.”

Following the stalemate at Huddersfield, there is another trip to Yorkshire tomorrow night for Preston when they play Sheffield Wednesday.

Six points behind Cardiff in sixth place with only five games to play, the Lilywhites are in last-chance territory.

The Huddersfield draw saw their first clean sheet since February 12 but PNE are now without a win in seven Championship matches.

Said Harrop: “You can look at the Huddersfield game as being something to build on.

“We were solid as a team, we never looked like we were going to get beaten.

“But in the final third we didn’t create as much as we wanted to.

“It was a bit of a flat game, there was no real tempo to it.

“If I’d been watching it I would probably have been bored – it was that kind of game.

“We tried to win it but we didn’t do enough going forward, didn’t create the chances we wanted.

“Huddersfield set up to draw the game – they were deep.

“We got behind them a few times early on, so they sunk deep and did that very well to be fair to them.

“You could say they parked the bus and we couldn’t break them down.”