Midfielder Ben Whiteman wants to build an even better understanding with Ryan Ledson

Ben Whiteman wants his midfield partnership with Ryan Ledson to continue gathering pace in order to help Preston North End secure their Championship status.

By Dave Seddon
Saturday, 17th April 2021, 8:00 am

The pair have been back together in the engine room of late after a return from injury for Ledson.

January signing Whiteman felt they were starting to build a decent understanding until Ledson tore a calf muscle in the derby victory at Blackburn in February.

Only recently have they been able to pick up the baton again and work together.

Ben Whiteman, right, is keen to develop his understanding with Ryan Ledson, centre, in the PNE midfield

Whiteman said: “Ryan and myself have a good understanding.

“He was a massive miss for the time he was out injured so it was good to have him back just before the international break.

“When Ryan goes forward I know that I have to sit back and vice-versa when I push on.

“We are developing a good understanding and can hold our own in midfield.

“Last week we got schooled as a team by Brentford but at Swansea before that we showed what we could do.

“That day I thought we passed and moved the ball well, causing Swansea all sorts of problems.”

Ledson and Whiteman first started together in the PNE midfield in the 1-0 win at Birmingham in January.

They had five matches in the side before Ledson was sidelined until March 20.

Whiteman said: “Myself and Ryan are quite similar in that we can both sit or get forward.

“When Alan Browne or Daniel Johnson are in there, they look to push on and try to make things happen in the final third.

“Ryan is a massive character in the dressing room, Frankie McAvoy rightly gave him the captain’s armband when Browney was suspended.

“He’s as good off the pitch as he is on it, he’s a fantastic player and a pleasure to play alongside.

“You saw how good he was against Norwich and Swansea.

“As a team we all need to improve from Brentford and put in strong performances over these final few games”

Whiteman has started 16 games and come off the bench in two others since his move from Doncaster.

As time goes on and his game develops at Championship level, he hopes to be regarded as an all-round midfielder.

“I want to add goals to my game, I want to get better at everything,” said 24-year-old Whiteman.

“I want to break up play. I don’t want to say I’m just a defending midfielder or an attacking midfielder – I want to do both.”

North End are in action against Stoke at the bet365 Stadium today (12.30pm).

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