Preston North End centre-back Patrick Bauer puts down roots at Deepdale

Patrick Bauer has always been prepared to move around to enhance his career so it something of a feather in Preston North End’s cap to have secured the defender on an extended contract.

By Dave Seddon
Monday, 17th January 2022, 4:45 pm

Bauer has signed a new two-and-a-half year deal, carrying him through until summer 2024.

It is a timely renewal, with his previous contract due to run out in June, so the clock was ticking.

The German’s career started in Stuttgart before he moved to the Portuguese league to play for Maritimo who are based on the island of Madeira.

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Preston North End defender Patrick Bauer has signed a new contract

Bauer then arrived on these shores at Charlton and after three years there he joined PNE in June 2019.

With things good on and off the pitch, he felt staying at Deepdale was the best next step in his career.

Bauer said: “Being settled here was important and a big part of my decision.

“My family are settled and I’m a real family person, so that was important to me.

Patrick Bauer (No.5) is congratulated after scoring for PNE against Birmingham City

“I like the ambition of the club, we are going in the right direction and that is why I was happy to stay and extend my contract.

“I can see us being successful here and I want to be part of that success.”

The deal with Bauer was struck at the end of last week, with the last bits done on Monday morning.

In between, Bauer was on target in North End’s 1-1 draw against Birmingham at Deepdale.

That was his eighth goal for the club and the one he knew the least about.

Alan Browne’s shot from the edge of the box clipped off him on the way into the net, that touch seeing him credited with the goal.

“I’ve got to admit that the ball just hit me,” said Bauer.

“I was running back from an offside position and it hit me on the left heel.

“I’ll take that, a striker would have claimed it so I’m doing that. The boys were joking in the dressing room afterwards that I couldn’t take it off Browney.

“But it was my last touch and it was nice to see the ball go in.

“I was relieved that the touch didn’t take it wide of the target, I wouldn’t have been popular had that happened!

“We’ve all got to try to score goals, it doesn’t matter what position you play. We have done a lot of work on set pieces and this one came after a corner.”

Bauer’s contract talks spanned the reins of two managers at North End, with them starting under Frankie McAvoy and ending with Ryan Lowe at the helm.

Contracts are handled at boardroom level but who the manager is an obvious factor in any player signing a deal.

Said Bauer: “The new manager has been really impressive. In the three league games we have played, we have taken seven points.

“We should have won on Saturday but Birmingham got the late equaliser.

“I’m glad to be part of it and hopefully we will keep getting the good results.

“The negotiations had been going on for a while and I’m glad they are sorted now.

“I can really focus on my football and help get the club up the table. You can see that our football has changed already under the manager and hopefully the fans are enjoying it.”

This time last year, Bauer was a month or so into his recovery from a long-term Achilles tendon injury.

He ruptured it playing at Bournemouth in December 2020, just a few minutes after scoring Preston’s third goal in a 3-2 win.

That wiped out the second half of last season for him but this campaign he’s been right in the thick of the action.

The Birmingham draw was his 22nd appearance of the season and a 23rd is on the cards when Sheffield United come to Deepdale on Tuesday night.

It is a game which should have been played on Boxing Day but Covid cases in the PNE squad saw it postponed.

The Blades’ visit is the first of four midweek games on the bounce for North End, a big test of the squad’s depth and ability as they look to climb the Championship table.

PNE and United go into the game level on points, with the visitors higher in the table on goal difference.

Back in September at Bramall Lane, the sides couldn’t be separated.

A thrilling contest ended in a 2-2 draw, Emil Riis scoring a Lilywhites’ equaliser in the fifth minute of stoppage time. Bauer said: “It was a really good game at their ground. I remember the emotion in the dressing room after the game, we were really buzzing about scoring the late equaliser.

“It will be a different game at Deepdale, since then they have changed their manager and we have changed ours.

“Sheffield United struggled for the first few games after being relegated from the Premier League but their results have been good recently.

“We are on the same points as them so it should be a good game.”

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