Preston North End midfielder Ben Pearson pleased with his development in four years at Deepdale

Ben Pearson thinks he has made great strides as a player in his four years at Preston North End.

Thursday, 30th January 2020, 6:00 am
Preston midfielder Ben Pearson

The midfielder joined the Lilywhites from Manchester United in January 2016 and he now has 142 appearances under his belt.

Pearson, 25, has grown to become a pivotal part of the North End in the holding midfield role.

“I was talking with my family recently about how quickly the four years has gone here,” Pearson told the Lancashire Post.

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Preston manager Alex Neil shakes hands with Ben Pearson after the win at Barnsley

“At the same time I feel like I’ve been here for a long time.

“I’d just turned 21 when I signed and it feels like this is the only club I’ve played for.

“There has been a lot of progression in my performances in that time.

“In becoming that type of player who is going to be playing week in, week out, I needed to go through the stage I did at the start when I was in and out of the team.

Preston midfielder Ben Pearson in the warm-up at Barnsley

“That helped me a lot and I’m better for it. I’m playing well, the team is playing well, long may that continue.”

Pearson and his Preston team-mates are back in action on Saturday against Swansea at Deepdale.

They’ve had a break since the 3-0 victory at Barnsley on January 21, now they are refreshed and ready for a busy February schedule.

The Barnsley win saw PNE use a midfield diamond, a shape Pearson felt worked well on the night.

Him and Daniel Johnson were back together in the engine room for the first time since the start of December.

A knee injury kept Johnson out for seven weeks and on his return against Charlton, Pearson was missing because of a sickness bug.

Johnson found the net at Oakwell with his ninth goal of the season, Tom Barkhuizen scoring the other two.

Pearson said: “It has been brilliant to have DJ back. It’s tough when he is missing, he’s that link in midfield.

“DJ does a bit of everything in midfield, he gets on the ball and creates things, he’s a willing runner in both directions.

“Having him back gives the rest of the squad confidence because he is so effective.

“This season he’s been getting his goal figures back up and playing that advanced role has helped him.

“When you see DJ training you see consistency, quality and confidence from him.

“There will be times when players lose a bit of form, that doesn’t mean you are bad player.

“I’ve sometimes been hot and cold and that can lead you to doubt yourself.

“But then you go and have a good game and things seem a lot better.

“It’s all about consistency at this level, being seven, eight or nine out of 10 as often as possible.”