Preston striker Jayden Stockley was happy to help out at the back

Jayden Stockley
Jayden Stockley

Jayden Stockley admitted he enjoyed his little cameo as a makeshift central defender during Preston’s 2-1 victory over Sheffield Wednesday.

The striker had played in his usual position as North End built a 2-0 lead at Deepdale courtesy of two penalties from Daniel Johnson.

However, Wednesday pulled a goal back on 78 minutes through Steven Fletcher, who headed home former PNE loan man Adam Reach’s cross.

After that, Wednesday through everything bar the kitchen sink at the home side in desperate search of an equaliser.

Launching balls into the box for Fletcher and Atdhe Nuhiu to feed on, Preston boss Alex Neil decided to utilise the extra height of Stockley to help out the defence, which was shorn of the services of towering centre back Patrick Bauer, who had gone off injured.

Despite a few hairy moments, Stockley managed to do his bit for the cause as North End held on for the victory.

“I did it once last season at Blackburn I think it was,” said Stockley.

“I know being my size, it is something that I might have to do and with Patrick Bauer going off,

“They just brought giants on – it was the same as last year.

“They are so deadly in the air, but I think we managed to stop the crosses coming in from source especially after Fletcher’s goal.

“It made it a lot easier for us in the middle. It was hard and a challenge.

“I remember I looked over at Ben Davies and he just made me laugh and thathelped me calm down a bit.”

Stockley revealed both Davies and Jordan Storey – who was Bauer’s replacement – talked him through his time at the back.

“To a degree I knew what I was doing back there,” he said.

“There was one dodgy moment when the ball got slipped down the side of me. I was thinking, ‘Oh my word, I am in trouble’.

“But the lads talked me through it.”

The win puts North End into the play-offs and Stockley is keen to continue the momentum.

“We have got the momentum and we want to build on that,” he said.