Preston North End’s cup win was even BETTER than Liverpool loanee Sepp van den Berg’s Anfield experience
Preston’s Carabao Cup victory over Morecambe at the Mazuma Stadium this week was even better than defender Sepp van den Berg’s Anfield experience.
The Liverpool loanee had already taken part in a Carabao Cup classic in 2019, the Reds coming out on top in a penalty shootout win over Arsenal after a 5-5 draw.
Van den Berg scored the final goal as PNE beat the Shrimps 4-2 to move into the third round of the cup and admitted it was different to his experience on Merseyside.
Twice the Lilywhites faithful spilled on to the pitch as they celebrated their side’s goals and Van den Berg found himself joining in with the celebrations.
He told the Lancashire Post: “I remember the Arsenal one, a full Anfield, 5-5, it was kind of crazy. But celebrating with the fans running on the pitch was something that I hadn’t experienced.
“That was unbelievable, even for me at the end when I scored and people were grabbing me. I was like, ‘What’s happening here?’ And then I ran towards them.
“For a situation like that, it’s the first time for me.
“We missed the fans and when you have games like this you need them because you know it’s going to be a tough game.
“For them to have sold out the away stands and support us, then celebrate like that with us when we scored, it’s what we players do it for.
“It’s unbelievable. If you watch me celebrate after the last goal, I didn’t know what to do.
“There was so much adrenaline and energy coming from the fans to you, I don’t even know what to say but it was a great feeling.”
The Dutchman started the game in his more favoured position, in the centre of defence.
But head coach Frankie McAvoy looked to shore up the backline and added Patrick Bauer to the back three, which shifted players along and Van den Berg to right wing-back.
Moving him wider was intended to make PNE more defensively sound but the youngster’s enthusiasm got the better of him, seeing his chance to break forward and taking it to find the net.
He said: “When I moved to wing-back I felt I had to secure it a little bit more, staying a little bit more tucked in.
“Then when I got the opportunity – I saw the ball coming to Greg Cunningham and we spoke before the game and even before the last game, if you get the ball then please, back post for either one of us.
“I saw him getting the ball and I was just looking down and running, he gave me the ball at the back and I scored.
“To be fair, I was more looking to secure it at the back rather than scoring but when I got the chance I just ran.”