Patrick Bauer’s performance in Preston North End’s latest friendly won’t have done his chances of a start in the team any harm whatsoever.
The German centre-half was on the scoresheet in the 1-1 draw with Accrington Stanley on Tuesday night.
More importantly his play at the back was good and he got 90 minutes under his belt, one of only three PNE players to do so in the County Ground clash.
If we are reading into the team selection of the last two friendlies, it was a stronger XI which played in last Saturday’s defeat to Southampton.
So it was something of a surprise to see summer signing Bauer as an unused sub that afternoon, even though it was the Jordan Storey/Ben Davies pairing which served PNE so well last season that got the nod.
Davies will be a certain starter against Millwall on the opening day, then it’s one from Bauer and Storey next to him.
Bauer’s goal against Accy was a header, getting on the end of a Paul Gallagher cross after Gallagher had worked a short corner routine with Josh Harrop.
Goals were few and far between from Preston’s defenders last season.
Davies, Storey and Clarke scored once, while left-back Andrew Hughes weighed in with four – three of them in the Championship.
PNE manager Alex Neil was impressed with a lot of what he saw from 26-year-old Bauer against Accrington.
Neil said: “He’s effective in both boxes and is always on the front foot.
“At the start of the second half there was a little spell when his passing became a bit sloppy so we fixed that.
“Other than that it was a very solid performance from Patrick.
“It was a good header for the goal and he’ll have been pleased with that.”
“We need competition all over the pitch and we want as strong a squad as possible.
“That is why we brought Patrick in this summer, to give us more options at the back.”
Bauer joined North End on a Bosman in June after reaching the end of his contract at Charlton Athletic.