Fifth booking means a ban for Preston’s Ben Pearson at Norwich

Ben Pearson
Ben Pearson

Ben Pearson will be missing from Preston’s midfield for the trip to Norwich on Saturday.

The 22-year-old picked-up his fifth caution of the season in the 2-1 win over Bristol City, triggering a one-game ban.

North End manager Alex Neil said: “Everyone know how influential Ben can be for us.

“The fact he is going to be missing the next game is a big blow because I think that game would have been perfect for him.

“However, we have to get on with it and deal with it.

“We will get the lads’ legs freshened-up and go again.”

Pearson was booked in the 64th minute against the Robins for a foul on Joe Bryan.

It added to the ones he got against Sheffield Wednesday, Middlesbrough, Reading and Ipswich.

The yellow card he got at Leeds in August was punished by the red card he received for a second bookable office later in the game.

Neil’s options to replace him at Carrow Road included John Welsh and Alan Browne who were both on the bench on Tuesday night.

For the last two games, Neil paired-up Pearson with Paul Gallagher in central midfield.

Gallagher scored Preston’s opening goal at Ashon Gate, the first time he had found the net since October last year.

He played 61 minutes and was replaced from the bench by Callum Robinson who went on to score the second goal.

Neil explained the reason for the substitution was that Gallagher has simply run out of steam.

“Gally just said ‘that’s me, I’m done’ and that is the way you work with senior players,” said Neil.

“Because he hadn’t been playing that regularly and then played Friday-Tuesday, I knew playing all of the game was going to be a tall order.

“I hoped to get 60 minutes out of him and we got that.

“Gally did very well for us again.

“He gives us calmness on the ball, the guy is calmness personified.

“Gally has got a great right foot, he can put deliveries in at a dead ball and he can see a pass.

“He gives confidence to the younger players in the side which is very important.

“The problem we’ve had this season is that Gally had an injury in pre-season, he then had a concussion and was also ill.

“It’s been stop-start for him but hopefully he is moving in the right direction.”