Preston North End defender rises to the challenge of keeping Fulham's Aleksandar Mitrovic under control
Liam Lindsay was pleased with how he dampened down the threat of Aleksandar Mitrovic in Preston North End’s draw with Fulham.
The centre-half made his first Championship start since August after injury kept Patrick Bauer sidelined.
Marking Mitrovic, scorer of 21 league goals this season, could have been daunting.
However, Lindsay felt it was a job well done and he enjoyed the experience.
Lindsay told the Lancashire Post: “There were some stats in the programme, it was 18 appearances and 21 goals for him.
“I knew Mitrovic’s record was good but I didn’t realise it was that much.
“It’s good to test yourself against the best and I thought it went quite well.
“Things would have been even better had we taken three points but a draw was okay.”
Lindsay took the central role in PNE’s back three, with Sepp van den Berg and Andrew Hughes either side.
By the end it was Jordan Storey and Greg Cunningham flanking him as the defence had to be reshuffled due to injuries to Tom Barkhuizen and Andrew Hughes.
As for the plan to cope with Mitrovic, Lindsay admitted it was a simple one.
The 26-year-old said: “It was just basically me and him, with Sepp and Hughesy covering.
“It was pretty much a battle and a case of who won that battle. I thought I did well.
“He’s a strong boy and you can’t switch off because he’s dangerous when the crosses come over.”
Lindsay’s last league start was against Huddersfield on August 17.
He was a half-time sub in October’s defeat at QPR, while starts came in the Carabao Cup against Cheltenham and Liverpool.
The call-up to face Fulham was fairly short notice, Bauer having complained of tightness in the hamstring and Achilles in the aftermath of Tuesday night’s 2-1 win over Middlesbrough.
Bauer failed a fitness test on the morning of the game, handing Lindsay his chance.
“I only properly knew I was playing in the morning,” said Lindsay.
“But I kind of knew on Friday that I was in with a chance of being in the team.
“It can be tough when you are thrown straight in there but the other two lads at the back made it easy.
“It was a good game to play in, maybe to start with we gave them too much respect but they are up there for a reason.
“Sometimes you do have to sit off an nullify them. Their goal wasn’t good enough from our point of view.
“We responded pretty well and towards the end we might have won it, we were the side in the ascendency.”
Thanks for reading. If you value what we do and are able to support us, a digital subscription is just £1 month for the first two months. Try us today by clicking here