Preston North End defender Liam Lindsay pleased to be on the pitch and avoiding Ryan Ledson's slide tackles in the stand

Liam Lindsay is relieved to be back playing for Preston North End after another stint of having to be a spectator.

Thursday, 18th March 2021, 12:45 pm
Updated Thursday, 18th March 2021, 12:48 pm

The central defender had four matches sat in the stand while he nursed a torn hamstring.

That injury hit just as he was settling into life at Deepdale after his loan move from Stoke City.

For the best part of a year at Stoke, Lindsay had been reduced to a spectator role after being frozen out of the plans.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Preston North End defender Liam Lindsay makes a clearance against Middlesbrough

Hence a frustration on the Scot’s part that he was almost back to square one during his injury absence.

Things are looking brighter now for him, with a return to training and match action.

He was an unused sub at Wycombe last week on the back of a single training session and then started Tuesday night’s 2-0 defeat at Middlesbrough.

Lindsay got 78 minutes in the tank on Teesside which will do him the world of good for Saturday’s Deepdale clash with Luton Town (3pm).

Liam Lindsay jumps high to head PNE's second goal against Blackburn in February

“I had to watch from the stand for a few weeks which is not what I wanted,” said Lindsay.

“Sat up there watching the lads is frustrating because you know you can’t influence anything.

“Now that I’m back fit hopefully I can have a big influence and help us get a few results.

“Am I a good watcher of football? I’m not too bad I suppose, I watched the games with the other injured lads.

“When it comes to the lads who aren’t the best watchers, the obvious one would be Ryan Ledson. He is making slide tackles in the stand!”

Lindsay went from no first-team football for 12 months to playing four games in a row for North End after his deadline-day arrival on loan.

In that run was a goal in the 2-1 derby victory over Blackburn at Ewood Park which went down well with the PNE faithful.

Then the damaged hamstring stopped him in his tracks, an injury he now hopes is behind him.

Lindsay said: “It was really frustrating, I’d had a run of games and felt good about myself.

“At first I thought it was just a bit of tightness in the hamstring because I’d started playing again after not playing for a year.

“It turned out I had a couple of tears in the hamstring muscle. That is not want you want just as you are getting up to speed again.

“It was three weeks out which meant I missed a few games.

“I’ve never really been injured in my career but I think playing a quick run of games took its toll.

“I need to manage that as well as I can to make sure the injury doesn’t come back.”

Luton’s visit to Preston is followed by a fortnight’s international break.

That will afford 25-year-old Lindsay the time to top-up his fitness and get ready for the last nine games of the season.

“I came here to knock out some games and help the team,” said Lindsay.

“Being back training and playing is great and it is important I contribute.

“At Middlesbrough I felt surprisingly good bearing in mind I hadn’t played for a bit.

“I had only trained two or three times before that game, so every session I do now can only help me.”

The clash with Luton will see Lindsay meet up with Hatters manager Nathan Jones again.

Jones was Stoke’s boss when the Potters signed Lindsay for £2m from Barnsley in June 2019.

He played regularly under Jones but his chances were to dry up when Jones was sacked and Michael O’Neill took the Stoke job.

Said Lindsay: “I know Luton’s manager from Stoke, he signed me and made me feel really welcome there.

“It was a brilliant move for me. Hopefully it will be me smiling after the game and not him, but it will be nice to see him.

“Luton are coming here off the back of a 2-0 win on Tuesday night against Coventry, that was a good result for them.

“This is a big game for us, everyone knows that.

“It would give us a big lift if we won and I think it is a game we have to treat as must win.”

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