Midfielder Ben Whiteman’s excited by challenge facing Preston North End

Ben Whiteman is relishing Preston North End’s task this weekend of trying to pull off another surprise result against promotion-chasing Bournemouth.

By Dave Seddon
Wednesday, 2nd March 2022, 8:00 am

PNE were the first side to beat the Cherries in league action this season when they won 2-1 at the Vitality Stadium in November.

Whiteman was on target that night on the south coast, with Ali McCann notching the winner.

In general, North End’s record against the sides in the Championship’s upper reaches has been decent.

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Preston North End midfielder Ben Whiteman

They got a draw with leaders Fulham, recently shared the spoils against Huddersfield Town and beat sixth-placed Luton.

While West Bromwich Albion have slipped below them now in the table, they were in the top five when PNE beat them at The Hawthorns at the end of January.

Whiteman said: “We tend to do well against the better sides in the league.

Bournemouth are coming to town and we have to be ready for them because we know they are a good side.

“We turned them over at their place a few months ago and they’ll be thinking about that.

“As a squad we are going into games feeling positive.

“Our aim as the season goes on is just to win as many games as possible.

“We’ve set targets which will stay in-house and hopefully we can reach those.

“Let’s not look too far ahead, playing Bournemouth is where our focus is.”

Whiteman has been one of the mainstays in the PNE team, starting all 14 league games of Ryan Lowe’s reign.

The 25-year-old was a regular under former head coach Frankie McAvoy too, having settled well at Deepdale since his move from Doncaster Rovers in January last year.

He has found the results in the last two games slightly frustrating, Whiteman of the view that they deserved more from their draws with Coventry and Nottingham Forest.

“It’s where we are at, we drew both games but I think we should have won them,” said Whiteman.

“As a team I think we are on an upward curve, everyone can see that we have improved massively.

“All over the pitch we look a miles better team.

“In recent weeks we have gone to other grounds and dominated games.

“At Coventry they were better than for us for the first 20 minutes but we grew into the game and in the second half we dominated it – we know we should have won.”

“We are working hard to keep getting better, sometimes we haven’t got the results we deserve but that’s football.”