Liverpool loanee Sepp van den Berg is eyeing the play-off places with Preston North End

Preston North End defender Sepp van den Berg is eyeing up the play-off places after his side’s 2-0 win over West Bromwich Albion.

By Tom Sandells
Thursday, 27th January 2022, 4:51 pm
Updated Thursday, 27th January 2022, 4:52 pm

The victory sees PNE close the gap to eight points on the top six places, losing just once in the league since Ryan Lowe took charge in December.

Emil Riis put the Lilywhites ahead against the Baggies, who currently occupy a top-six spot, before Cameron Archer – off the bench for his debut – doubled the away side’s lead.

They now look towards Saturday and another chance to close in on the play-offs as they welcome Bristol City to Deepdale.

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Van den Berg shakes hands with manager Ryan Lowe.

North End are in good form and there is a real feel-good factor around the club at the moment, that is only backed up by Liverpool loanee Van den Berg’s aspirations.

He told the Lancashire Post: “I think with the squad we have the play-offs should be do-able.

“If we can keep playing like this, fighting for every ball and winning games which is the most important thing, the play-offs are do-able.

“From there, anything can happen. If we keep believing in ourselves and working hard, it is do-able.”

Sepp van den Berg makes a tackle on Matt Phillips.

North End were good value for their win on Wednesday night, carving the hosts open on numerous occasions and making it count.

Albion had little answer in an attacking or defensive sense and were booed by their own fans multiple times.

Van den Berg felt the game plan worked a treat for Lowe’s men and is savouring the winning feeling against a physical and talented side who were tipped to win the division at the start of the season.

“We deserved the win, a hard fought win as well,” he said. “We had a game plan coming into the match and I thought we executed it perfectly.

Van den Berg in action at The Hawthorns.

“We knew they were going to hit long balls and when they tried to play we were all over them.

“We did very well and deserved the win. We were well prepared and when we gave it back to them they didn’t like it.

“It was probably not the most enjoyable game to watch but those wins are often the nicest ones – 2-0, a clean sheet as well, so we’re happy as defenders.

“Everyone worked really hard and winning away to West Brom, I think that is their first loss at home this season, it’s well done by the team and those three points are always the best.”

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The North End fans are climbing on board the ‘Lowecomotion’ as the get behind the manager and the team.

The affinity between Preston fans and their club is growing, having become quite fractured in the early part of the season.

There will be another chance for that affinity to grow on Saturday as Bristol City travel to Deepdale, just three days after PNE’s midweek win.

Van den Berg welcomes the quick turnaround and the opportunity to continue their momentum.

“My body feels fine, people say I’m still young but I’m happy with another game quickly,” he said.

“We keep the rhythm going and stay in the flow. Hopefully we recover well then do the same again on Saturday.

“When I walked on to the pitch on Wednesday the away end was so loud, there were so many PNE fans.

“For us, playing away against a good side, with all respect they are a good side, when you see the fans behind the goal it really helps.

“When we scored you could celebrate with them and then to keep it up, keep a clean sheet – that and celebrating with the fans is what it’s all about.

“It was nice that so many PNE fans came over.

“When I came I felt a great support from the fans and they have always been behind us.

“Winning games is still the most important and after last weekend we’re still doing that well.

“For the fans, if we keep winning they will be happier and so will we.”

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