PNE in Numbers: Ben Pearson picks up from where he left off...in more ways than one
Ben Pearson has already established himself as Preston's Mr Consistent '“ in more ways than one.
ALSO READ: Preston North End next up for Frank Lampard after mixed start as Derby managerA good indicator when it comes to North End’s top performers is the amount of man of the match awards we hand out.
Yes, it’s a game of opinions and we welcome feedback but his industry and energy have seen the former Manchester United man already pick up the honour in three of the four Championship games so far this season.
Callum Robinson got the nod at Norwich, although on a tough night for North End, Pearson was again in the running.
The No.4, PNE’s lovable rogue, has also of course already moved towards the top of the disciplinary charts.
Paul Gallagher has that dubious honour after being handed a retrospective three-game ban for his elbow on Stoke’s Joe Allen.
But after cards against Stoke and Norwich, Pearson is up and running on that front, having developed something of a reputation in recent seasons.
They were both familiar sights. Against the Potters it was a cynical foul on Tom Ince to stop a counter-attack, all part of Pearson’s job as a shield in front of the back four.
At Carrow Road we saw the more frustrating side of his game as he prevented the hosts from taking a quick free-kick and was penalised by referee Gavin Ward.
After 14 bookings last season, and a first career red card, Pearson has seemingly picked up from where he left off with the first suspension coming after five yellows. Needless, to say the least.
The race is also on with Darnell Fisher who, like his team-mate, picked up 14 cards last term and has two this time around.
The right-back currently leads the way in minutes played this season on 412, having featured in both the Championship and League Cup after Calum Woods’ injury against Morecambe.
They may have perhaps mistakenly earned a reputation as one of the more physical sides in the division but others have made a far faster start than PNE when it comes to getting on the wrong side of referees.
Saturday’s opponents Derby County are one of three teams to have picked up 12 bookings alongside Nottingham Forest and Aston Villa.
Jordan Smith’s red card against Bury in the League Cup means it is Forest who are currently on the naughty step as per the points system of the FA’s fair play tables.
For those counting they’ve got 58 and North End 24, Alex Neil’s side having picked up six yellow cards.