Preston are monitoring midfielder Alan Browne's fitness ahead of Blackburn Rovers clash

Preston are hopeful of having Alan Browne available for the resumption of Championship action after the midfielder's withdrawal from the Republic of Ireland squad.

Monday, 19th November 2018, 5:00 am
Preston North End's Alan Browne
Preston North End's Alan Browne

Browne joined team-mate Sean Maguire in returning early from international duty over the weekend.

He has a shoulder injury and has not gone to Denmark for the Irish’s Nations League clash in Aarhus tonight.

It is understood that Browne has been carrying the shoulder problem for a little while.

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And with rest and the right care, the 23-year-old should be able to continue playing.

Browne did not make the Republic of Ireland matchday squad for their goalless draw with Northern Ireland last Thursday night.

That was the game Maguire hurt his hamstring, the extent of which Preston are currently assessing.

Before the international break, Browne started on the bench for North End in their 1-0 win at Bristol City.

That was his first time as a substitute in a league game since Boxing Day, a statistic which underlines how highly Lilywhites boss Alex Neil rates him.

Against the Robins, Neil went for a midfield three of Ben Pearson, Paul Gallagher and Daniel Johnson.

Browne joined the action in the 64th minute in place of Gallagher, providing fresh legs to the engine room.

There’s a midfield vacancy for the derby with Blackburn at Deepdale on Saturday.

Johnson collected a fifth yellow card of the campaign at Ashton Gate which triggered a one-match suspension.

So assuming Browne gets himself fit this week, he will go back into the team.

North End also have Ryan Ledson as a midfield option, the summer buy from Oxford not having featured of late in the squad.

The withdraw of Browne and Maguire from Ireland duty leaves Callum Robinson as PNE’s sole representative in the Republic’s squad tonight.

Robinson won his fifth cap against Northern Ireland and is likely to get a sixth against Dermark.

North End will be wanting him back in good shape ready for the weekend.

Robinson has been their big attacking threat this term and has nine goals to his name, eight of those in the league.

With Maguire back on the sidelines, Robinson carries a big responsibility playing on the left side or up the middle.

The weekend’s clash with Rovers should see a season’s best attendance at Deepdale so far.

Blackburn have sold out their 5,533 allocation in the Bill Shankly Kop, the first side to do so this term.

North End’s biggest home crowd to date is 16,331 for the 2-2 draw against Bolton.