Ryan Ledson has been missed during recent weeks admits Preston North End boss

Ryan Ledson’s character has been an important ingredient missing from the Preston North End side of late, says Alex Neil.

A torn calf muscle suffered in the derby win at Blackburn last month put the midfielder on the sidelines.

Until the injury Ledson had featured in 27 of North End’s Championship games.

PNE manager Neil told the Lancashire Post: “We have missed Ryan’s character and his use of the ball, we’ve missed his bravery.

Ryan Ledson tore his calf muscle in the victory at Blackburn

“He’s another player like Greg Cunningham in that he doesn’t shy away from pressure and taking responsibility.

“Until his injury he was up there for the number of minutes played this season.

“That was purely down to what he offered to the team, he deserved his part. In his time here he had to be patient, he had Ben Pearson in front of him for a long time but he’s taken his chance.

“Ryan has improved significantly in the time he’s been here – guys like him with character are worth their weight in gold.”

Neil says there is more control to Ledson’s game now than there was.

He got two straight red cards in his first season at North End, leading to three and four-game suspensions respectively.

That aggressive streak has not completely gone though, as proved by one or two robust tackles he has made this season.

Said Neil: “It’s not something that has gone out of his game, he’s still capable of that. Ryan is a fierce competitor, if you play against him you’ll know that you have been in a game.

“He’s not going to play pat-a-cake with you, when that ball drops down you are going to have to fight for it.”