Preston North End midfielder Ryan Ledson tips Tom Bayliss to shine at Deepdale
Ryan Ledson has backed his Preston North End team-mate Tom Bayliss to develop into a first-team regular.
Ledson and Bayliss were the Lilywhites’ midfield duo in the 4-2 defeat to Norwich City in the FA Cup.
The Deepdale clash was only Bayliss’ fourth game in a North End shirt since his August arrival from Coventry City.
His path to PNE has been similar to that of Ledson, with them both having played in Leagues One and Two.
Ledson himself has had to be patient in his own quest for first-team football.
Last season, he started 14 Championship games and came off the bench on a further 10 occasions.
In this campaign, Ledson has been limited to three starts in the league but has started four cup matches.
Ledson said: “We all saw what Tom did in League One, he was a top player.
“Like myself, he’s been in League One and League Two.
“Coming here and training with players such as Ben Pearson, Paul Gallagher and David Nugent will do him the world of good.
“The Norwich game will have done Tom the world of good too, a full 90 minutes in the FA Cup against a Premier League side.
“I think Tom will come on in leaps and bounds. He’s a young lad, still only 20.
“In training Tom has shown glimpses of what he can be and he’s at a club where he is only going to get better.”
Ledson, 22, was pleased to play in the Norwich match, even if the result was not one they wanted.
North End manager Alex Neil gave the starting XI the full game, opting not to make any substitutions.
Reflecting on the match, Ledson said: “We needed the minutes because there are lots of games coming up and we need to be ready for those.
“In the last 10 minutes we were probably blowing a bit but you have to push yourself through that.
“I wasn’t too far away from scoring. I thought I was Steven Gerrard for 10 seconds as the space opened up!
“The keeper made a good save to be fair, he played well.”
Ledson is likely to have to settle for a place on the bench when PNE head to Ewood Park on Saturday to face Blackburn, with Neil reverting back mainly to the players he rested against Norwich.
“We beat them 1-0 there last season, Daniel Johnson scored,” said Ledson.
“It is a massive game and we will be right up for it.”