Preston North End summer signing playing in ‘least favourite’ position but has attitude to thrive

The PNE man has impressed since signing on loan from FC Basel on transfer deadline day
Liam Millar Liam Millar
Liam Millar

Preston North End loan man Liam Millar won’t complain about playing wing-back for the club, even if it is the Canadian’s least favoured position on the pitch.

The Lilywhites snapped Millar up from FC Basel on transfer deadline day. His debut for PNE was electric - scoring and assisting in a home win over Plymouth Argyle, having had valuable training time over the international break. Millar then started in the following victory against Birmingham City, before coming off the bench at Rotherham United last weekend.

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Lowe has already shared his view that Millar wants to earn a permanent contract at Preston, having returned to England after a couple of years in Switzerland. The 24-year-old is enjoying life at Deepdale, where he has been deployed at left wing-back in a 3-4-2-1 system. The PNE boss has also pushed Millar up top towards the end of games, as well as in a number ten role.

Wing-back is a physically demanding task and not Millar’s number one choice - based on an interview from earlier this summer. And while Millar did make that clear back in August, his attitude towards playing wing-back was exemplary too. The former Liverpool man understands the need to adapt to different methods and is willing to do whatever it takes to get minutes and succeed.

"My favourite position is obviously left wing and I think that's where I am at my best," said Millar in an interview with OneSoccer last month. "I do really enjoy playing as a second striker as well. The game in Cuba, when I played with (Lucas) Cavallini, we had a really good connection. I felt good playing with him and it was a good overall experience. I really did enjoy it. And I played as a striker a lot at Liverpool, so that was a bit of a throwback for me and quite nice.

“But, the whole left wing-back thing, striker, left wing, whatever it is, I think it is important in football now to be versatile and able to play in multiple positions. It is so difficult now I think - every coach has their own formation, tactics and way of playing. To be able to play as much as possible and be as influential as possible, you need to be adaptable. So for me, it's okay. I think wing-back is my least favourite position out of the three, but I will say it's also okay."

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That versatility is certainly impressing Lowe, who said last week: “Yeah, I think he played three positions the other day. He is versatile and I think we’ve got a lot of that in the team now. It is healthy to have players who can play in different positions. He’s been phenomenal hasn’t he, up and down that left hand side. Long may that continue.”