Pearson’s home help

North End midfielder Ben Pearson
North End midfielder Ben Pearson
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Ben Pearson says Preston must use home advantage in the next week to get back on a winning track.

PNE host Brentford and Birmingham City at Deepdale in the space of four days.

Having gone four games without a win –three draws and a defeat – they have fallen off the pace in the chase for the top six.

So having back-to-back home games has to be seen as an opportunity to narrow the gap, says midfielder Pearson.

“We have this clear week and then it is back to two games in quick succession,” Pearson told the Post.

“Last week we had trips to Cardiff and Barnsley, so it will be nice to be back at Deepdale on Saturday.

“We need to start turning these draws into wins.

“Over the last three or four months we have been playing very well but in the last few weeks we have hit this run of draws and the Cardiff defeat.

“In terms of the table, I’m not paying too much attention to the gap.

“If you win two or three games on the bounce, you can quickly claw back points on those above you.

“And if a team above you has a bit of a wobble, that can bring them back in reach.

“There is a long way to go yet and everything we do is on a game-by-game basis.”

Brentford, the visitors on Saturday, inflicted Preston’s heaviest defeat of the season in September.

The Bees hammered them 5-0 at Griffin Park, something of a watershed moment in the campaign.

That was PNE’s sixth loss in the first eight Championship games and since then they have lost four in 22.

Pearson was a spectator that day in London, returning to the squad for the following game at Bournemouth in the League Cup.

He has not looked back since, establishing himself at the heart of the midfield.

“We all remember what happened at Brentford, it wasn’t nice,” said Pearson.

“You can talk about revenge but our focus on Saturday will just be on trying to win.

“Brentford are a good team, they’ve been a bit inconsistent this season but will be a threat.

“We will be aware of what they can do but the main thing is making sure we stick to our game plan.”

Pearson enjoyed his return to Barnsley last weekend, 
having had two loan spells with the Tykes before joining PNE 13 months ago.

It was a feisty clash, his usual combative approach not going down too well with some of the home fans.

Said Pearson: “It was my first time back there.

“It was lively out there, the way Barnsley play and press, you have to get stuck in.

“We had to show we were not there to be turned over and we did that.”