Preston North End face an anxious wait for news on Ben Pearson's ankle injury

Preston North End are waiting to learn the severity of Ben Pearson's ankle injury which forced him out of the draw with Wycombe Wanderers.

By Dave Seddon
Saturday, 5th December 2020, 6:37 pm
Updated Saturday, 5th December 2020, 6:46 pm

Pearson twisted awkwardly on his left leg with no one near him after half an hour of the game and was clearly in some pain as he was helped off the pitch.

North End led 1-0 at the time, Tom Barkhuizen having scored his fourth goal in five games.

Wycombe equalised early in the second half through Garath McCleary, then Scott Kashket gave them the lead.

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Preston North End midfielder is treated by physio Matt Jackson at Deepdale

It needed an 88th minute own goal from Jason McCarthy to pull PNE level, the Chairboys midfielder turning a Scott Sinclair cross into the net.

Reflecting on Pearson's injury, PNE manager Alex Neil said: "It was innocuous, no contact was made, he just rocks his ankle.

"He'll have a scan tomorrow morning and we will see what comes back.

"Until Ben went off I thought we were good, we used the ball well and risked it well, played through Wycombe on a few occasions and looked dangerous.

"Ben going off certainly took its toll on us, he's a natural builder of play for us and allows us to take the ball further up the pitch where we can be most affective.

"When he did go off we lacked a bit of fight at times. That was disappointing.

"In these type of games it is all about how you move the ball. If you move it well enough you can pick them off because they will come after you.

"Our two spare players were the full-backs and we didn't utilise that well enough.

"I thought that in the second half we struggled to deal with the direct ball - we'd dealt with it relatively well in the first half."

Neil change direction in a bid to get North End back into the game, going more direct.

He said: "The free-kick for the second goal you could argue was a little bit unfortunate. It hits the post and comes straight to their lad.

"We switched off and don't follow the free-kick in. I'm not sure the wall was set-up properly if you look back at it.

"From that point we knew it was going to tough.

"We tried to play out, tried to risk the ball, tried to show the quality that we did against Bournemouth. But we didn't move it well enough.

"So we had to find another way, we went more direct and Scotty put a great ball in and we managed to score the goal.

"We had two great chances after that to nick the points."

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