Preston North End in Numbers: On-loan Liverpool defender Sepp van den Berg’s keen to be a central figure

Sepp van den Berg got a big stage on which to press his claim to play in his favoured centre-back position.
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Only occasionally has the 19-year-old played in PNE’s back three, with him used more regularly at right wing-back.

Van den Berg’s parent club Liverpool gave North End permission to play him in the meeting of the teams at Deepdale in the Carabao Cup on Wednesday night.

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Frankie McAvoy shuffled the pack and that involved a move to the right-hand side of the back three.

Sepp van den Berg sees his future in the centre of defenceSepp van den Berg sees his future in the centre of defence
Sepp van den Berg sees his future in the centre of defence

The stats showed that the Dutchman made four interceptions and three clearances against the Reds. He blocked two shots and made 29 passes over the course of the 90 minutes.

It was such statistics which prompted McAvoy to admit that Van den Berg had given him food for thought about more game time at he heart of the defence.

Long-term, Van den Berg sees himself forging a career as a centre-half.

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His PNE debut back in February against Rotherham saw him come on as a substitute and play in the middle.

It was Alex Neil who played Van den Berg at right-back in a goalless draw with QPR in late February.

He played eight games there before McAvoy tweaked the system in his second game in interim charge and played him as a wing-back.

The 4-2 victory against Morecambe in the Carabao Cup in August, saw Van den Berg play in the back three but he’s been to wing-back duty since.

Wednesday night’s game saw the end of a long run in the team for Jordan Storey.

He had started 35 matches in a row in both league and cup.