Preston North End midifelder talks about their start to the season, captaining the team and their hunt for goals

Preston North End midfielder Ben Whiteman has been answering our questions ahead of Saturday’s Championship game against Sunderland.
Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

PNE’s no.4 has been a key man for Ryan Lowe this season, starting every single game so far – cup or league.

He spoke exclusively to the Lancashire Post on his start to the season, captaining the side and North End’s hunt for goals.

How do you feel the season has been going so far?

Preston North End's Ben Whiteman is dejected at the final whistle after the Sheffield United defeat.Preston North End's Ben Whiteman is dejected at the final whistle after the Sheffield United defeat.
Preston North End's Ben Whiteman is dejected at the final whistle after the Sheffield United defeat.
Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“It's been a really strange season I think. If you look at the Championship table, it's really congested, we're only three or four points off the top five but also the same to the bottom three.

"There have been some really strange results but we're getting to the time where we need to be picking up points, towards Christmas. We have something like nine games in 27 days so we need to come out of them with a good return.”

What’s your take on the lack of goals at the moment?

“It's a team game, when you're keeping clean sheets it's not just the back three and the 'keeper so goalscoring isn't just the strikers. It's a collective, we all need to chip in with goals. We need to start scoring, there's no beating around the bush.

"I don't know how in some games we haven't scored but we'll be working hard to try and rectify that.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"We get in some great areas but the final pass or the end product hasn't been good enough. We are creating opportunities, final third entries, crosses into the box. It's the hardest part in football, putting the ball in the net.”

It sounds like you’re one to look at the stats, is that the case?

“Yeah I look at stats, it's not the be all and end all of the game but I do like to look at them. You can analyse the came and it give you a different way to look at it.

"Every game is different, some games are going to be varied. I do take notice of them but my performance is the main thing. I try to look at the defensive side, tackles and interceptions.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"I think pass completion stats can be a bit safe. I might look at forward passes and stuff like that, completion of final third passes.”

You’ve been captain on a couple of occasions this season, how does that feel?

“It's a really proud moment, when Alan Browne and Daniel Johnson aren't on the pitch the gaffer has given me the responsibility which I'm very proud of.

"I've really enjoyed captaining the lads and when Alan and DJ come back on the pitch I give it straight back but it is a really proud moment.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

What do you make of Sunderland ahead of this weekend’s game?

“They're a good side, Alex Neil has obviously left and Tony Mowbray has gone in - I think he's a great manager. They're expansive in the way that they play, they've got some really good players.

"They have real quality and it's a great stadium to go and play at, their fans are outstanding. We're all relishing it, it will be a good game with two teams that want to pass the ball. Hopefully we can come out with a positive result.”