Mads Frokjaer pinpoints the Preston North End learning curve after beating Ipswich Town

Mads FrokjaerMads Frokjaer
Mads Frokjaer | CameraSport - Dave Howarth
The PNE man played a big part in Saturday's 3-2 win over Ipswich Town

The only thing Mads Frokjaer was missing in his post-match interview on Saturday was a cigar. In the Dane, Preston North End must have a contender for the coolest player in the Championship this season. Certainly the most chilled out, anyway. Softly, but carefully and intelligently spoken, the number 10 is a creator and thinker. He reflected on a job well done after the 3-2 win over Ipswich Town. In his eyes though, the nervy finish could've been avoided by North End.

"First half was good, on the front foot and high with our pressure," said Frokjaer. "We did all the things we'd talked about in the week. Second half, we tend to stand a bit further back - which is not the best idea when they bring on a big target guy. We had the chance to maybe go 4-0 and they were lucky the goalkeeper didn't get sent off. It wasn't a foul. The guy played it back to the goalkeeper and he just took it with his hands. I didn't touch the ball, so he didn't give a free kick on me - he just touched the ball with his hands.

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"I am pretty sure, in the laws of the game, you cannot get a back-pass from your player and try to play volleyball on the floor. It should've been a straight red, in my opinion, but the ref said some rule that nobody has ever heard about. So, I am not sure what's going on to be fair. I think it should've been a red. But yeah, a good fight and a good win. Of course, when they bring a good player like Moore on - a big guy - it is going to be tough.

"We still need to be a bit more on the front foot, especially in the second half. I know people get tired, myself included, but we need to have the confidence to do it for 90 minutes. When we nick the ball late on, don't kick it long too early; try to get a few passes in before, so the team has time to get up. But yeah, there was improvement today and I think the last three-and-a-half games have been alright. Some good performances - and still lots of room to improve even further."

Frokjaer nicked the ball high up the pitch effectively, against the Tractor Boys. In recent weeks, he has nailed down a place in his most natural position - in the number ten role, behind two strikers. The summer signing was in and out of the team in the first half of the season, with some comments from the manager about his off the ball play needing some work. When asked about that side of the game, though, Frokjaer was keen to jump to his defence.

"I think it is the wrong notion, that I don't defend," he laughed. "I had the same back home. I think it is because of my attitude. I am a long guy who looks tired, even though I am not. That is just my facial expression. I think when you look at the stats, I am one of the ones with the most interceptions - especially in the final third. I ran a lot of KMs during the match, so I think I have come around. It may not look like that sometimes, but I would say I am a good defensive player - especially in the high press. I can understand where people come from. Football is universal: everybody loves football and everybody has an opinion of it.

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"It's the beauty of a sport that is so well known - everyone thinks they know a lot about it. In the end, people probably don't know as much as the players and the coaches, even though the fans are great. They probably don't look, too much, into the analytics after the games. I don't think it is a lazy notion and I understand where people come from; I can just say that it isn't the full truth. Of course, there are some areas I can improve in, defensively. But, that is why I am an offensive player, a number ten - so that is only natural.

"I think my defensive stats, more or less, are alright and a big part of my game to be fair. We talked about me getting high up, in the face of one of their sixes and then getting help from either Browney or Whitey - to push up as well and go a bit more man-man. And show some confidence in that part of the game. We succeeded with that and in the second half they went longer, having fewer passes at the break. It was a great success from the starting point. So, I am just trying to show that and we almost got two goals out of it today.

"I think the last three or four months have been good for me, in training. I am starting to feel like I'm getting the rhythm of the game over here. And when the game is a bit more rough, to take a step back and let some of the bigger guys go into it. It's trying to get the most out of it when I'm on the ball, so hopefully these last 16 games can be a good run for me - and we can try to advance further in the league table."

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