Ben Pearson believes a sense of freedom afforded to him by Simon Grayson has helped him develop as a player in Preston’s midfield.
After what he describes as a ‘rough’ start to the season out of the team, Pearson has become a vital component in the Lilywhites side.
He has arguably been the most consistent performer since September, with him having 25 games under his belt.
Pearson sees himself as something of a midfielder all-rounder, happy to do both the defensive and attacking sides of the game.
And it is going forward where Grayson is content to give his players the freedom to express themselves.
“The gaffer feeds us with a lot of information about the opposition in terms of how we set up and defend,” Pearson told the Post.
“Going forward with the ball, there is lot more freedom than with other managers.
“If you are prepared to try something in an attacking sense for the good of the team, there are no complaints from him, he encourages you to express yourself.
“In this day and age, you have to be able to do different things in your game.
“If you have a bit of variety in your game, it stands you in good stead.
“I’ve improved my game since coming here, I’m really enjoying it.”
Save for two suspensions, Pearson has started every Championship game since the trip to Birmingham on September 27.
He will need to steer clear of trouble with referees so to maintain that run, with him on 12 bookings – reaching 15 would trigger a three-game ban and an appearance in front of the FA.
“I’m just happy to be contributing to the team and playing,” said Pearson.
“I had a rough start for the first couple of months of the season but getting back in the team and keeping hold the shirt was crucial for me to progress as a player – to show myself and the supporters what I can do at this level.
“Realistically I think we can still reach the play-offs.
“At the start of the season we would just have taken an improvement on last year.
“As the season has gone on and we have picked-up points in games we thought we might not have done, our ambitions have grown.
“At the moment we do have to rely on other teams to fade away but it we concentrate on continuing to pick up points, we will see where that takes us.”