Bailey Wright has given his Preston North End team-mate John Welsh a pat on the back for his all-action display in the Championship opener against Middlesbrough.
Welsh played a holding midfield role to reduce the threat of Boro’s Stewart Downing.
It was a ploy that worked very well, centre-half Wright full of praise for the job done in front of him.
“Welshy is someone who I have played with for a good few seasons now and I know what he is all about,” Wright told the Evening Post.
“He gives 100% and does the job of a lot of people – that is a great type of player to have on your side.
“As a defender, it is good to know that he will always watch your back and give you that cover which is needed.
“There was his tackle in the box on Albert Adomah in the second half against Middlesbrough.
“We have seen him do that type of challenge time and time again – we call it the typical Scouse tackle, Welshy had got it locked down!
“It’s that slide tackle, on to the knee and straight back up.
“The way he performs it is an art form.
“Sometimes, Welshy’s work might go unnoticed but we appreciate him.
“He got the man of the match award on Sunday and deservedly so.”
Wright would not have been too far behind Welsh in the man of the match stakes.
He put in a strong display as one of three central defenders.
Sunday’s clean sheet against Boro was especially pleasing as it came off the back of a couple of shaky defensive showings in pre-season.
North End conceded seven goals in their final two friendlies at Carlisle and Bury, statistics which led to some hard work on the training pitch.
Wright said: “Last season, we had a lot of clean sheets and we prided ourselves on them.
“We were annoyed by what happened in the last two friendlies, the goals we conceded weren’t what we wanted.
“Maybe we needed a reorganisation and reassessment of things.
“We got back to doing some of the basics which gave us our success in the first place.
“In training we worked hard all last week and I think that showed against Middlesbrough.
“I don’t think they had any shots on target – to have been able to limit them in that way was great.”
Wright, 23, felt that he adapted well to the pace of Sunday’s game.
“The pace was quite similar to what we were used to last season, it is still a quick game of football,” said the Australia international.
“The big difference in stepping up to the Championship will be the quality and organisation. Teams will punish you at this level, maybe in League One you get away with a bit more.”
The North End defence have a new keeper behind them in the shape of Jordan Pickford.
He did not have the busiest of games in terms of having to make saves but the 21-year-old, on loan from Sunderland, caught Wright’s eye.
“Jordan had got a great kick on him he can really ping the ball,” said Wright.
“Hopefully we can use that to our advantage.”
l PNE youngster Nick Anderton has joined Aldershot Town on loan.