Tom Barkhuizen believes he is Preston North End's Mr Consistent

Tom Barkhuizen is pleased with the progress he has made in his four years as a Preston North End player and hopes that will continue.

Tuesday, 15th December 2020, 12:30 pm

Barkhuizen moved to Deepdale in late 2016, the compensation which PNE paid to Morecambe helping the Shrimps meet their wage bill at the time.

He was able to play from January 2017 and has now made more than 160 appearances.

“These last four years have been good,” Barkhuizen told the Lancashire Post.

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PNE winger Tom Barkhuizen

“I think every year I’ve had similar stats, I’ve managed to get around double figures of goals, with six or seven assists.

“It’s consistent although I probably don’t get labelled as a consistent player.

“But if you look how I have done year on year, I tend to be quite consistent with what I’m producing. Some people will say that is good, some people will think it’s not so good.

“That is how it is. I’m happy with how I’m progressing as a player.”

Barkhuizen was signed in Simon Grayson’s last season as PNE manager, before Alex Neil succeeded him in the summer of 2017.

He is one of Neil’s go-to players over the last three-and-a-half seasons, operating out wide or occasionally as the main striker.

Said Barkhuizen: “The manager has put a lot of faith in me, so have the club by giving me new contracts while I’ve been here.

“I have 18 months left on my contract and I’ll see how long I can stay for.”

Barkhuizen recently had a run of scoring three goals in four games.

He started that run by netting the winner against Sheffield Wednesday in the first game back after the international break.

Following the derby defeat to Blackburn, the 27-year-old scored three times on the bounce against Watford, Bournemouth and Wycombe.

“I’m quite pleased with my goal return so far this season,” said Barkhuizen.

“It’s not unbelievable but it’s not bad for a winger.

“I will always set myself a target of getting into double figures every year and I’d be really annoyed if I didn’t reach that this season.

“In my time here I have tended to score in bursts – three, four, five at a time.

“I think once you score it gives you the confidence to get in the right positions.

“When you look back at the recent goals, I hit one against Watford from distance which got a deflection.

“It probably helped that I had scored a game or two before that – it just gave me the confidence to shoot.

“There was the one at the far post at Bournemouth, while the Wycombe one was just instinct – being a forward I had nothing to lose.”

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