Josh Harrop looking to step up after dismissals leave places up for grabs in Preston North End’s midfield

Preston North End's Josh Harrop
Preston North End's Josh Harrop

Josh Harrop says it is up to Preston North End’s available midfielders to step-up in the absence of suspended pair Ben Pearson and Ryan Ledson.

The Lilywhites will resume action after the international break without Pearson and Ledson following red cards in the last two games.

There is an injury concern too over Alan Browne who was forced to miss the Republic of Ireland’s clash with Wales last night because of a calf strain.

Harrop has started three of PNE’s six Championship games, with him coming off the bench briefly at Norwich.

He started the League Cup win at Leeds, playing a key role in midfield after Ledson was sent-off in the first half.

A consistent run of games is something Harrop is after and these next few weeks might give him the chance.

Harrop told the Post: “It’s not good to have lads missing and this is a time when others have to step up.

“It is an opportunity to get into the team and show what you can do.

“I want to be playing all the time and if I get into the team it’s up to me to play well and help us win games.”

The current international break has given North End the best to take stock of the start they made to the season and prepare for a busy block of matches ahead.

In the Championship they have only one win to their name, that coming on the first day of the campaign against Queens Park Rangers.

Alex Neil’s men have drawn twice at home – both times 2-2 with Stoke and Bolton – but lost all three away games.

The League Cup has been kinder to them, victories over Morecambe and Leeds taking them into the third round.

Harrop said: “When you look at the performances so far, we could have nicked more points than we have.

“I don’t think the displays have been bad but we’ve not come out with what we have wanted.

“It is what it is and we have to focus now on getting better, making sure points are put on the board.

“This international break gives us a bit of time to look at what we’ve done and work on things for the games ahead.

“We can recharge after the start to the season and also be out on the training pitch.

“In training we can go through a few things and keep the fitness levels high without having a game to prepare for.”

Harrop and his team-mates have a busy few weeks ahead of them when action resumes.

They play seven matches before the October break, six in the league and the third round of the League Cup against Middlesbrough.

“It’s Saturday-Tuesday all the way through,” said Harrop.

“Players prefer it when you are playing regularly and the schedule will mean all the squad are involved.”