Preston North End stopper Freddie Woodman pleased to start with clean sheet after Newcastle United move

Freddie Woodman was pleased to start his Preston North End career with a clean sheet as they drew 0-0 with Wigan Athletic in their first game of the 2022/23 Championship season.

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Player ratings: Wigan Athletic 0-0 Preston North End

Woodman joined the Lilywhites from Newcastle United this summer for an undisclosed fee and was the first man through the door so has had plenty of time to wait to make his bow.

In truth, it was a relatively straightforward debut for the 25-year-old who had largely simple shots to get his body behind.

Freddie Woodman punches the ball away.

Jack Whatmough tested his reflexes in the first half but other than that there was nothing that you thought had a chance of beating an experienced Championship ‘keeper like Woodman.

It was a bit of a new look backline for Ryan Lowe, who went for Jordan Storey, Liam Lindsay and Andrew Hughes. Storey was playing in his first game since going out on loan to Sheffield Wednesday in Janaury, with Lindsay preferred to Patrick Bauer in the centre of defence.

“On a personal note it's nice to start the season with a clean sheet,” Woodman said.

"For myself and the defenders it's always nice to start like that but looking back on the game we'll be a little bit disappointed not to take three points.

"We had some good chances, we should have made the most of them.

"Saying that, in the second half with the sending off I think we can be happy with a point and a clean sheet.

"I thought the defence was brilliant, we can all be happy. The three centre halves were top drawer.

"The ball was like a magnet to Lindsay's head in the second half for sure.

"It helps massively as a goalkeeper when you've got three centre halves putting their body on the line making sure you get a clean sheet.”

For a 0-0, it was an entertaining game at the DW that saw PNE have a couple of clear cut chances before Ched Evans was sent off and it ended hopes of a victory, 10 minutes from time.

Woodman was grateful for a few early touches in the game to settle the nerves and calm things down with an raucous atmosphere in the ground, helped by over 4,700 PNE fans.

He said: “If you can get an early touch it's always nice. It can be frantic at the start of the first game of the season with the atmosphere, look at our fans.

"It was brilliant to see them out in their numbers and they made such a noise and created an atmosphere here.

"It was always going to start off a bit frantic so getting a few early touches in and a nice save in there was good.

“Looking back, when we get to December or January we're probably going to look back and think we could have got three points there.

"But saying that, we're off the mark, the season has started and we've started with a clean sheet.

"We've put in a positive performance and the fans can look at that performance and be happy. We can take a lot from it.”