Ryan Ledson hopes his appearance off the bench against Hull has given Preston North End manager Alex Neil something to think about.
The midfielder came on for the second half on Boxing Day and was instrumental in PNE’s best spell of the match at Deepdale.
Alan Browne’s fine strike on 47 minutes cancelled out Jackson Irvine’s opener but after a period of North End pressure the Australian was on target again to condemn Alex Neil’s side to a 2-1 defeat.
Ledson has been in and out of the side since his summer arrival from Oxford but with Ben Pearson suspended for another three games and injuries elsewhere, now looks to be a real chance for him to cement a spot.
“Any time I’m on the pitch I’ve got to do myself justice,” said the 21-year-old.
“I always work hard for the team no matter what and put my body on the line.
“It might be my time to get a run, we’re down to the bare bones at the moment.
“It’s up to the gaffer whether he plays me or not.
“It has been a bit stop-start for me, whether it’s coming off the bench or being in one game and then out the next, but hopefully I can get a run of games and show everyone what I can do.”
Ledson came on for Graham Burke and sat deep in midfield which released Daniel Johnson, Alan Browne and Paul Gallagher to attack the Hull backline.
“I tried to get on the ball as much as I could, get us playing and get the ball out wide,” said the former Everton youngster.
“I’ve got quality in front me and had to get the ball to those players who can do something.
“I thought I did alright but it wasn’t enough for the three points.”
All in all, Ledson thought PNE did enough to take home a share of the spoils, a scrappy Irvine header 10 minutes from time.
“I definitely think we were worth a point in the second half,” he said.
“When we had all the pressure on them we had to score again really.
“Then late on it’s not a nice goal to concede from a set piece. You work on those things and they hurt the most.
“But we’ve just got to go again against Aston Villa.
“That’s the best thing in football, there’s always another game around the corner.”
Villa are set to be backed by more than 5,000 travelling fans but the Lilywhites’ Boxing Day defeat was the first at Deepdale for Neil’s men since the end of September.
“They don’t get any easier but I think they’ve got a few missing,” said Ledson.
“Jack Grealish might not be playing which would be a big miss for them.
“It’s tough for teams to come here and we’ll make it very tough for them.
“Hopefully we can get another run together.”