Preston North End's Ben Whiteman ready to go against Blackburn Rovers and keen to put past results right

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Preston North End midfielder Ben Whiteman is back in contention for this weekend’s derby clash with Blackburn Rovers.

North End’s no.4 was an ever present under manager Ryan Lowe up until the final two games before the World Cup, having started every game under the current boss for almost a full year.

PNE won one and lost one without but are without him no longer as he is ready to go at Ewood Park.

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Whiteman spoke to the Lancashire Post for our Q&A for this week…

Preston North End's Ben WhitemanPreston North End's Ben Whiteman
Preston North End's Ben Whiteman

Ben, how are you feeling after your injury?

“I feel really good. I had a bit of injury trouble just before the break but I've come back fit and I'm looking forward to the game. It was my quad, I had a little tear in it.

"I think I passed the ball to Emil and I got a sharp pain in my quad. I tried to carry on a little bit, ran up the pitch and tried to push off on it and I knew something was wrong.

"When we came back down the pitch I sat down and knew I'd done something wrong. I managed it, had a little bit of a break which was good to recharge the batteries.

"I'm just looking forward to the weekend now.”

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You hadn’t missed a game under Ryan Lowe until that injury, how did you manage that?

“I did okay. The fixture list was really intense. This has been the first time I've been injured with that sort of injury. I pride myself on doing the right things and doing everything properly.

"So far it's working, I've not really missed any games. These are probably the first two I've missed down to injury. I pride myself on being a good professional and it's paying off.”

Did you enjoy the break and get away from football?

“I had an amazing experience, it was the first time I'd been in New York and it was surreal. A few of the lads came out as well so we met up and had a good time. We knew that lads were going and we sorted a day out while we were over there and met up and had a good time.

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"Things can definitely get too intense with football, it's not helping having the World Cup and there being three games on every day! I do get too intense with football and sometimes you need to take a step back and have a mental break.”

You play Blackburn Rovers at the weekend, who beat PNE in both games last season, do you want revenge?

“It's a massive game. we've got to come into it with a gameplan, we're in good form. The break has probably come at a bad time for us in terms of form with three wins out of four. All eyes are on the weekend now.

“It definitely does stick in your mind, especially the derby games. Things like that do stick in your mind, you have that added pressure as well. We're going into it fully focused on getting a win. The fans will come in their numbers for the early kick off. I expect them to be there and to be loud and hopefully get us over the line.

We could have a PNE win at dinner time and an England win in the evening...

“I'd rip your hand off for that!”