Preston North End defender Lewis Coulton wants to show he's ready for first team spot

Defender Lewis Coulton is out to impress after playing 90 minutes in Preston North End’s first pre-season friendly in the summer.

Coulton was the only player to play the entirety of North End’s 3-0 win at the Sir Tom Finney Stadium, and set up a goal for fellow academy graduate Mikey O’Neill.

O’Neill made it three, following on from a penalty from Ben Whiteman and a goal for trialist Ben Woodburn.

Coulton is in his first pre-season with the first team and is hoping he can show enough to manager Ryan Lowe to keep him around the first squad beyond the summer.

PNE defender Lewic Coulton during his side's 3-0 win over Bamber Bridge.

"It was a good performance from the boys,” he said. “We started off here are always going to be errors in games like that, our first game back, but after that we got the ball down, we started to play and things started to work. You're going to be sloppy in areas and that's going to tighten up as we move on.

"90 minutes wasn't something I expected to but it's good for me on the other side, it gets me out there and that's what I want. I want as many minutes as I can get to show the gaffer what I can do.

"As a young player, it's my first pre-season with the first team so I need to try and impress as much as I can.

"I feel like I did that in bits on Saturday, I got an assist which is always going to attract the gaffer's eye and make him think well that's what he can do.”

Aaron Bennett goes in for a challenge against Bamber Bridge.

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Coulton gave a good account of himself in a position that North End are currently lacking. Josh Earl recently left the club and Greg Cunningham, PNE’s other left back from last season, is also an option as a left centre back.

Despite only being around the senior players for a couple of weeks, the 19-year-old is keen to show he’s ready to step up to the plate.

He said: “That’s what I’m trying to do, I’m only a young lad but I’ve got to show the gaffer that I’m ready. Only working on the training ground and playing games is going to do that.

“My time at Bamber Bridge, I loved every minute of it, but I'd rather come back here as a PNE player than a Bamber Bridge player - no disrespect to them - but I'm trying to be a Preston North End player.

“I'm going to try and do as much as I can to get in the first team and be in and around it.

"If that's not the case then hopefully I'll get a loan move but that's not really what I'm looking for. There have been no talks about a loan move, it's just about me trying to get into the first team and I think that is what the gaffer wants as well.

“I've loved every minute of pre-season, the lads have been class with me. It's been tough but that is what pre-season is, hopefully in the next few weeks we can keep going and get some more results.”