Preston North End teenager Jack Armer back at Deepdale to provide defensive cover

Preston defender Jack Armer in the warm-up before Monday night's game against West Bromwich Albion
Preston defender Jack Armer in the warm-up before Monday night's game against West Bromwich Albion

Teenager Jack Armer was on standby to start Preston North End’s clash with West Bromwich Albion after his recall from loan at Lancaster City.

The 18-year-old defender ended up on the bench, that his first involvement in Alex Neil’s plans.

Preston manager Alex Neil

Preston manager Alex Neil

PNE boss Neil called Armer back from his loan spell with the Dolly Blues over the weekend as injuries bit deep into his defensive options.

Had Alan Browne not recovered from a tight hamstring to play at right-back, Armer would have started – presumably at left-back with Joe Rafferty moving over to right-back.

Neil said: “We needed Jack back with us to make sure we had cover.

“Alan Browne had a tight hamstring before the game so if he was not available, young Jack would probably have played.

Preston defender Jack Armer was recalled from loan at Lancaster to be on the bench against West Bromwich Albion

Preston defender Jack Armer was recalled from loan at Lancaster to be on the bench against West Bromwich Albion

“I was happy to do that, I’ve played young players before in the team.

“Last season I brought on Ethan Walker and Adam O’Reilly against Aston Villa and we drew 1-1.”

Armer, a lifelong North End fan who hails from Lostock Hall, joined the club’s academy when he was seven.

He signed professional terms in May after completing his scholarship, agreeing a one-year contract with the option of a further 12 months.

In August he was loaned to Lancaster in order to get him a run of first-team football.

Armer played 21 matches for them, scoring three goals, and was well thought of at Giant Axe.

Josh Earl spent time on loan at Lancaster towards the end of the 2016/17 season, helping his pathway into the first-team squad at PNE.

Neil said: “Lancaster look after them well which is pleasing.”

Armer can play left-back or in the centre of defence.

He has represented Scotland at various age levels, his Scottish roots being on his mum’s side of the family.

Armer is a good cricketer too, playing for Penwortham in the Moore and Smalley Palace Shield.

His recall was necessitated by a number of defenders being on the injury list.

Patrick Bauer, Ben Davies, Andrew Hughes, Darnell Fisher and Tom Clarke were all unavailable against West Bromwich.

Clarke and Hughes have been long-term absentees but Bauer, Davies and Fisher are recent problems.

Neil will hope to have at least a couple of them back in the coming days.