Preston North End in Numbers: Can Alan Browne take Deepdale form on the road against Birmingham?
Alan Browne heads out on the road on Saturday looking to cap an excellent seven days.
Being left out by Alex Neil seems to have done the trick with Browne reminding us why he was last season’s player of the year over the last few days.
He got two assists and the fourth goal in the resounding 4-1 win over Rovers on Saturday before being on target in the 1-1 draw with Middlesbrough on Tuesday night.
All in all, Browne has six goals and three assists this season having scored nine in the whole of the previous campaign, a haul that was seen as a fine return for a player not known for his goalscoring exploits.
The 23-year-old will have some extra motivation at St Andrew’s on Saturday as all of his goals have come at Deepdale.
In fact, the only Championship games on home soil where Browne hasn’t contributed to a goal are the 2-2 draw with Stoke back in August and the 1-1 stalemate against Rotherham at the end of October.
He got off and running on the goal front with the winner against Queens Park Rangers on the opening day with a looping header early in the second half.
After Stoke he was on target against Bolton, the stunning volley just after the quarter hour perhaps the pick of the bunch so far this season.
Another header came deep in added time of the 3-2 defeat against West Bromwich Albion before he turned provider for Tom Barkhuizen in the 4-0 thumping of Wigan, a game where goalline technology showed Browne came 3.68mm away from a goal of his own.
Against Brentford a brave finish five minutes in kicked off a seven-goal thriller which ended 4-3 in PNE’s favour.
Then came this week, Browne providing two assists in the opening 10 minutes against Rovers before grabbing the final goal himself with a left-foot volley.
Technically Tuesday night’s strike against Boro was right up there, the No.8 finding his feet expertly before rifling home a low shot.
Browne, by his own admission, may not have hit the heights of last season at times but the numbers don’t lie.
As well as the goals and assists he is also second in minutes played with 1,535.
That Callum Robinson, on 1,582, is the only man in front of him means the midfielder will likely lead the way in that field come the final whistle in Birmingham.