Sepp van den Berg pleased to showcase abilities in his favoured position for Preston
Sepp van den Berg was pleased to keep a clean sheet and be handed an opportunity in his favourite position during Preston’s 0-0 draw at Stoke City.
The home side looked the most likely to open the scoring during a strong first half but PNE came back into the game in the second 45 and can count themselves unfortunate not nick all three points.
Harry Souttar saw red with 10 minutes to go too, as Sean Maguire played Alan Browne through on goal only for the Australian international to bring down the visiting skipper just outside the box.
Van den Berg started the game on the right-hand side of a defensive back three.
A centre back by trade, it was a rare outing in his favoured position for the on-loan Dutchman after making the most of his appearances since arriving on loan from Liverpool as a right back.
The Dutchman certainly grabbed hold of the opportunity with both hands, producing a solid display.
He said: “I think overall it was a solid performance.
“In the first half they had the better chances but we defended our box well.
“Then in the second half we made some changes about how we were going to press them and in the second half we were better than them.
“In the end a 0-0 draw is probably fair.
“Last week wasn’t good enough, conceding five is a tough one to take. Then against Stoke, they’re a good side with good players, a 0-0 for the back five or three is good.
“I’m happy with the clean sheet.
“Everyone knows that centre back is my preferred position.
“I’ll fit in anywhere but against Stoke I was able to play in my position that I prefer to play in so I was happy.
“If I’m honest I felt more comfortable there, it’s where I’m used to playing and in my opinion where I play best.”
Attention quickly turns to North End’s next game, with Derby County on their way to Lancashire on Tuesday night.
The Rams, like PNE, are not mathematically safe yet but Van den Berg sees the midweek match as an opportunity for his side to cement their place away from danger.
He said: “We’re getting there, we’re not there yet.
“Another point is good but we have to keep going. We’ve got another big game on Tuesday and we just have to keep going.
“A point is a point and we’ll take that.
“Tuesday’s is a game where we can make the gap bigger, we just have to win. It’s as simple as that. We have to play well and take the three points on Tuesday.”
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