Preston midfielder Ben Whiteman relishing role given to him by new boss Ryan Lowe
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The 25-year-old played as PNE’s lone deep-sitting midfielder in the 2-1 victory over Barnsley on December 11.
Ahead of him, Alan Browne and Daniel Johnson were given the licence to push on and drive North End’s attacks.
Three Covid-related postponements have meant the Barnsley win has been the only game overseen by Lowe since his appointment,
All being well, action will resume for the Lilywhites at Stoke on Monday afternoon.
The higher tempo of play, coupled with a more attacking style, impressed the PNE fans against Barnsley.
Whiteman enjoyed being part of it, acting as a screen the back three and helping North End to build play from deeper areas.
“The new style suits me, he wants to get the ball down and try to pass it around,” Whiteman told the Lancashire Post.
“ I did that under Frankie McAvoy so hopefully I can just continue it on now.
“The new manager sees me as a ‘four’ – the holding midfielder who needs to get on the ball and stop counter attacks, getting around the pitch in the deeper area.
“It’s a position I’m familiar with, I played it a lot at Doncaster Rovers so I know the role quite well.
“That is a change though, you have a bit of protection next to you if you’re in a double pivot or a two man midfield, but now the other two are both attacking ‘eights’.
“It’s now about being more positive on the ball and trying to get the two other midfielders into good areas.
“The new manager has been outstanding, especially with the way he wants to play on the front foot and being aggressive.
“He wants attacking and passionate football and the lads have bought into that, I think we showed that against Barnsley and hopefully we can carry that on.”
Lowe’s time on the training pitch with his players has been curtailed since last Thursday when Euxton was shut down after the postponement of the Boxing Day clash with Sheffield United.
Tomorrow’s scheduled trip to West Bromwich Albion fell by the wayside too.
Whiteman will soon have been a PNE player for a year, following January’s £1.6m move from Doncaster.
Lowe is his third manager in his time here, following on from Alex Neil and Frankie McAvoy.
“I think I have done okay here,” said Whiteman.
“It’s been a tough year with the Covid situation and the changes of managers but I want to keep improving and push on under the gaffer.”
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