Wide role suits Josh Harrop since his return to Preston North End side

Preston midfielder Josh Harrop
Preston midfielder Josh Harrop

Josh Harrop likes the wider role he has been playing in the Preston team since his return to action after injury.

The 23-year-old operated on the left-hand side of North End’s frontline in the games before the international break.

It is a position from which Harrop thinks he can have a major influence on matches, cutting in on his right foot.

He started three games last month and came on as a sub in the League Cup win at Bradford.

The former Manchester United youngster scored in three of those matches, a huge boost to him after he missed much of last season with a torn cruciate ligament.

Harrop told the Lancashire Post: “I really like the role as an inverted winger.

“It allows me to roll inside on my right foot and I’ve had a bit of success doing that. What helps is when our full-back gets up to support down my side.

“If I’m moving with the ball and my opponent tracks me, I’ve got the option of playing in the full-back in down the outside.

“And if they are wary of what the full-back is doing, it can give me that moment to cut inside. The gaffer doesn’t play me as an out-and-out winger, I’m a bit narrower.

“I don’t mind where I’m asked to play, whether it is down the side or inside as a No.10.

“Wherever I play, it’s a case of playing as well as possible and helping the team.”

Harrop was eased back to action after the knee injury which cut short last season at the end of September.

Although he played a full part in pre-season, Harrop had to wait until the Bradford game for some competitive action.

That came as a substitute with him finding the net just moments after coming on in the second half. He has since started against Stoke, Hull and Nottingham Forest – 
getting through 90 minutes in all three.

Said Harrop: “During the pre-season I did everything I needed to, I trained and played in every game I could.

“It was about building up my fitness and movement, I met those goals.

“In recent weeks I’ve been back in the team and I loved being out there.

“Overall it’s been a really good start to the season.

“Even in the games when we came up short, we could have taken points.

“The home form has been excellent and the first away point at Nottingham Forest was good to get.

“We start a busy run of games against Brentford and it’s important we keep our form going.

“There’s the Manchester City game coming up which should be exciting for the fans and the club.”