Kicking off with a win sets us up nicely says Preston North End's Ben Davies

Ben Davies feels Preston North End have set themselves up nicely after starting the new Championship season with a win.

Saturday, 4th August 2018, 10:16 pm
Updated Saturday, 4th August 2018, 11:23 pm
Ben Davies and match-winner Alan Browne celebrate PNE's opening day win over QPR

Alan Browne’s goal five minutes into the second half was enough to see off QPR 1-0 at Deepdale on Saturday.

With games against Swansea and Stoke City, both relegated from the Premier League last season, to come on the next two Saturdays, three points against Steve McClaren’s men eases the pressure on a tough start to the campaign.

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“It’s always good to get the first win as soon as you can, especially when you’re at home,” said Davies.

“It’s a great opportunity to get the fans going and put in a performance and get off to a good start.

“I remember opening day last year it was a tight game and we got a penalty to win 1-0 against Sheffield Wednesday.

“It doesn’t really matter how you get the job done, it’s just important to get that first win as soon as you can because it sets you up.”

Ben Davies and match-winner Alan Browne celebrate PNE's opening day win over QPR

It was a case of job done for PNE who made a bright start before having to battle for all three points, Browne looping home a header from Josh Harrop’s free-kick shortly after the interval.

“It was always going to be a bit frantic at the start of the game,” said Davies.

“If we’d scored in the first half it would have been a different game.

“When we did score then we changed a bit unintentionally to protect that and when you’re only 1-0 up they’re always going to come on strong at the end and we did well to see it out.”

After a breakthrough campaign last term, academy product Davies was selected at the heart of the defence alongside skipper Tom Clarke on the opening day.

“I didn’t start last season so it was good to get the nod,” said the 22-year-old.

“Me and whoever else played in the team knew that we had to put in a good performance because there’s a good squad around and there’s competition for places.

“It keeps everyone on their toes and is exciting.”

Clarke was forced off late on however, PNE finishing the game with 10 men after the skipper suffered a bang to the head with Alex Neil having made all three substitutions.

“He didn’t really know what was going on out on the pitch so he definitely had to come off,” said Davies.

“But Clarkey being Clarkey he obviously wanted to stay on.

“He always wants to battle through but everyone knew it was for the best that he came off.

“But he seemed fine in the changing room afterwards.

“He always puts his body on the line and is a great leader and great to play alongside."