Exclusive Patrick Bauer Preston North End column: Using my head at Deepdale

Shielding the ball from Wigan's Cedric Kipre at Deepdale last week
Shielding the ball from Wigan's Cedric Kipre at Deepdale last week

Our win against Wigan last week was a big one for us after the frustration of losing to Millwall in the first game.

A win and a clean sheet was very welcome and it was a good feeling to take the three points and get off the mark for the season.

The coaching staff were telling me that against Wigan I had made the most headed clearances in our division that day, so I was happy to hear that.

Part of my game is to win headers and often you will be up against strong strikers to whom the ball is played high.

Wigan had Joe Garner and then Kieffer Moore up front, so that meant I had to head the ball quite a lot.

It was the same the week before at Millwall with Matt Smith – he was a very tall striker.

There were a lot of tall strikers when I played in League One with Charlton, so winning duels in the air is important to me.

That is a part of a my game which I do a lot of work on to help me get better.

Maybe Swansea will be a bit different on Saturday, they are more of a ‘playing’ side who keep the ball on the ground a lot more.

I have not played against Swansea before – they were in the Premier League until the other year.

Last season was their first back in the Championship and they will be looking to get back there.

We go there looking for a positive result at the end of a good week which also saw us beat Bradford in the cup with a changed team.

A big physical battle was not really something that I experienced when playing for Maritimo in Portugal.

It wasn’t quite as direct over there, teams didn’t have too many physical players – they tended to be technical and smaller players.

I did notice the difference when I came to England.

My move to Maritimo came about when I was 18 and playing at Stuttgart.

At the time I wanted to get away, not just to improve as a player but also develop and grow as a person – as a man.

It was a great experience for the three or four seasons I was there and it did improve me as a player and person.

The move to England to join Charlton and then here to Preston, has done the same thing.

How did I end up playing on the island of Maderia with Maritimo?

My agent said I needed to get a move from Stuttgart and asked if I could imagine playing abroad. I was open to that and it started from there.

I went on a trial for 10 days and impressed Maritimo enough for them to want to sign me.

For my first season there I was in the ‘B’ team playing in the Second Division, I still had a contract at Stuttgart at the time.

After that season they wanted to do it permanently and they agreed a deal with Stuttgart.

It was a really nice place to live, sunny and warm most of the time.

They didn’t have the rain like we are having here this summer!

Charlton scouted me when I was in Portugal and I moved there in 2015.

I had always wanted to play in a higher division in England or Germany and Charlton gave me the chance to play in the Championship.

That was an opportunity I wanted to take and I moved to London.

It was a great four years at Charlton which ended with promotion through the play-off final in which I scored. That chapter is closed now and I’ve started a new one here at Preston.

I’ve settled in well here and it is nice that the season has started.

What you find here is that it is quite a young squad with a lot of younger boys.

There are experienced lads like Paul Gallagher, Tom Clarke, Paul Huntington and David Nugent.

Like myself, Nuge signed during the summer but had obviously been here before and done brilliantly.

It is a good mix to have their experience and the young, willing talent of the other boys.

Although I’m only 26, I still feel like one of the older players because I have played a lot of games.

However, I still have many years left in football and I aim to play as many games as I can.

I have brought with me to Preston the experience which I have gained through playing in Germany, Portugal and in London for Charlton.

Hopefully that experience can help us do well here this season and beyond that.

We have a busy spell of games at the moment with the Championship and the cup.

When the break comes at the end of the month we want to have plenty of points and be in good shape.