Ben Pearson suspended for Preston North End's clash with Huddersfield Town and Daniel Johnson facing fitness check

Preston North End will be without Ben Pearson for this weekend’s clash with Huddersfield Town and could be missing Daniel Johnson from midfield too.

By Dave Seddon
Tuesday, 5th November 2019, 6:00 am
Preston trio Ben Pearson (right), Alan Browne and Paul Gallagher have words with referee David Webb at Charlton
Preston trio Ben Pearson (right), Alan Browne and Paul Gallagher have words with referee David Webb at Charlton

Pearson picked up a fifth yellow card in Sunday’s 1-0 win at Charlton, that triggering a one-game suspension.

North End will assess a foot injury suffered by Johnson in the first half at The Valley.

He was hurt by a foul from Naby Sarr which earned the Charlton man a booking.

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Daniel Johnson limps off against Charlton accompanied by PNE physio Matt Jackson

It is thought Johnson has trapped a nerve in his right foot, the injury seeing him hobble off after 30 minutes.

Pearson was booked for dissent by referee David Webb, having remonstrated following a foul on team-mate Joe Rafferty by Beram Kayal.

The tackle on Rafferty as he made a clearance was late, Pearson seemingly unhappy Kayal only got a yellow card.

North End manager Alex Neil said: “I’m disappointed with that one and I’ll speak to Ben about it.

Preston boss Alex Neil

“What has happened is that Joe has volleyed through with a tackle and their lad was really late.

“It looked as if Joe might have been hurt, thankfully he wasn’t. Ben has remonstrated with the referee but as I said to him there are ways and means of doing that.

“The referee obviously felt Ben had stepped over the line. To lose him for a game for that is very disappointing.”

Kayal’s challenge was in the opinion of some fans one which merited a red card.

However, Neil felt that might have been harsh.

“I think the lad genuinely thought he was going to get there and Joe has nipped in and cleared it before him,” said Neil.

“When you leave the foot there, naturally the follow through is going to hit him.

“I don’t think it is really necessary for someone to get sent off for that. That is my take on it.”

It has taken Pearson 14 games to get five yellow cards which is an improvement on last year.

After 14 appearances last season, he had been booked six times and sent-off once.

His absence is likely to hand Ryan Ledson a chance in the holding midfield role.

Johnson’s fitness will be monitored this week in the hope he can resume against Huddersfield.

Neil said: “We’ll explore it day by day. It was a kick which dragged down the back of his heel, so we will have to see how it settles.”

Johnson was replaced by Paul Gallagher who went on to scoring the winner from the penalty spot.

He has started every league game since the second week of the season and is currently Preston’s leading scorer with eight goals.

Against Charlton, Johnson had started deeper with Alan Browne in the No.10 role.