Preston North End defender Andrew Hughes is a winner in the air

Andrew Hughes is proving to be a towering presence in the Preston North End side.

By Dave Seddon
Friday, 8th January 2021, 4:45 pm

Statistics at the half-way point of the Championship campaign show that the left-back has won the most aerial duals in the Lilywhites squad.

The Welshman came out on top of 85 aerial duals which is pretty impressive considering he’s had a bit of a stop-start campaign.

Hughes has only started 12 league games and come off the bench in two others.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Preston North End defender Andrew Hughes challenges in the air against Millwall

He missed all of November’s matches with a torn hamstring, while the 28-year-old also missed two games either side of Christmas with an injury.

Hughes’ height and ability in the air is important to North End.

At 6ft 2, he can add his presence in the box at set pieces, so too dealing with the high diagonal ball out to the channel.

It might be that Hughes doesn’t play in the FA Cup against Wycombe, with Alex Neil likely to rotate his squad heavily. Josh Earl is set to play at left-back.

Some other figures produced by EFL Stats, show that Tom Barkhuizen has had most shots on target – 14 – with Scott Sinclair having had 34 successful dribbles.

Alan Browne has made the most interceptions in PNE’s squad – 34. Ryan Ledson is the top tackler with 49 successful tackles, while Ben Davies had made 64 clearances.

Declan Rudd has played the highest number of minutes but a knee injury will prevent him adding to the 1980 minutes for some months.

Rudd was injured in training on Tuesday and PNE have signed Leicester keeper Daniel Iversen to cover his absence.

Thanks for reading. If you value what we do and are able to support us, a digital subscription is just £1 per month for the first two months. Try us today by clicking here