Preston North End midfielder Alan Browne says he won't treat Leeds United as 'world beaters' in Tuesday night's clash at Deepdale
Preston North End’s Alan Browne says it is vital that they don’t treat Leeds United as ‘world beaters’ when the sides meet at Deepdale on Tuesday night.
It is a huge clash for both teams, PNE needing the points to keep alive their play-off hopes and Leeds chasing a top-two finish.
This is the third meeting of the clubs this season, with them playing twice in the space of three weeks earlier in the season.
North End won 2-0 in the Carabao Cup at Elland Road at the end of August.
But when they went back there in the Championship, Alex Neil’s men were on the end of a 3-0 defeat – a game in which they very much played second fiddle.
Browne missed that game through injury so is looking forward to this one.
The Irishman, who made his 200th PNE appearance in the 1-0 defeat to Sheffield United, said: “I don’t think Leeds are world beaters to be honest.
“I think it is the media who make them out to be this world-class team.
“They are a very good team, they beat us at their place and were great on the night.
“We were nowhere near it that night and I think this one will be a totally different game – I hope so anyway.
“As a team we go into any game wanting to win, this one is no different.
“We came up against Norwich when they were top of the league and showed that we really wanted it.
“That is something we want to do against Leeds but obviously it is going to be a tough game.”
Browne, 23, returned from an ankle injury to play against Sheffield United.
He had been out since limping out of the 2-1 win at Middlesbrough on March 13.
The extent of the damage he suffered that night makes it somewhat of a surprise that he made it back on the pitch so soon.
Two of the ligaments in his right ankle were damaged by a tackle from Boro’s on-loan midfielder Mo Besic.
Browne said: “I didn’t see it coming, I had gone past him.
“At first I thought it was all an accident but looking back, it looked a bit nasty – he jumped in on me.
“I tore two ligaments in my ankle and it was quite painful.
“But I’m getting over it now and have got back quickly.
“That was always the aim because this is an important week for us – I wanted to get back.
“I was working towards getting back for the Sheffield United game, the physio has been fantastic in getting me there.”
If game No.199 was a very painful one with the injury, No.200 was painful in terms of the result.
North End competed well against the Blades but were unable to find an equaliser to David McGoldrick’s 33rd minute goal.
Browne said: “At this stage of the season it is all about the results.
“Unfortunately we couldn’t get anything from Saturday’s game but can take a lot of positives.
“I didn’t think it was like the Reading defeat the week before when we didn’t really deserve anything.
“Sheffield United are in second place and all credit to them for that.
“But I thought we really deserved something from the game.
“We created some good chances and they didn’t have too many clear-cut chances.
“A lot has been made of the three games this week and people looking at that before we played Reading was maybe where the problems started.
“One of the games has gone, what we have to look at is the six points which are up for grabs.
“We won’t be playing for draws, we need to put some wins together.”
The result aside, it was a proud day for Browne when he played his 200th Preston game.
He was skipper due to Paul Gallagher only being on the bench and Tom Clarke out injured.
Browne said: “It was Ryan Ledson who pointed out to me before the game that it was my 200th game.
“He’d been reading the programme and there was something in there.
“It is a great honour for me to make so many appearances for the club and hopefully there will be many more to come.
“To skipper the side on the day was a big thing.
“The only thing which fell short was the result, although we did play well.
“When I first came over here I was a bit of a lost pup and hadn’t been away from home before.
“Looking back from where I have come from, I have come a long way as a person more than anything.
“As a player there has been a massive improvement too, anyone who has watched me from day one would agree with that.
“I have got both managers who I have worked with here to thank for that, while all the players and coaching staff have been fantastic.”