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Youth Team

Josh Earl Enjoys Defensive Outing

9 January 2017

Versatile youth-team player Josh Earl says he enjoyed playing in an unfamiliar centre-back role during a 2-1 away win against Wigan Athletic.

The second-year scholar, who opened the scoring for the Lilywhites in the victory, has become accustomed to playing as a left-back and left-winger for Nick Harrison’s side this season.

But injuries to Tom Stead and Kamol Campbell during the game prompted a reshuffle which saw Earl finish the game at the heart of defence – but that didn’t faze the 18-year-old.

“I did my job – it’s the first time I’ve ever played there for the youth team,” he said. “I used to play there when I was younger but it’s the first time I’ve played there in a while and I think I looked steady.

“It’s a position that I really enjoyed learning about, and it’s an area that I’ve always wanted to play in. I’ll fill in wherever I can for the team; I’m happy to be on the pitch and play my part in the squad.”

Before his switch to centre-back in the second-half, Earl had put the Lilywhites 1-0 ahead after 42 minutes with a powerful effort from a corner.

On that strike, he added: “As it came in I was actually a bit gutted that I didn’t get my head on it, but then the ‘keeper flicks it on and I thought if I can control this well, which I did, then I can just put my foot through it. 

“I made good contact with the ball and it went into the far corner.”

Wigan cancelled out Earl’s opener in the second-half before Harry Garstang won it late on for the Lilywhites with a close-range strike.

And Earl, who believed it was a deserved win for the team, said: “They did have a few shots on goal in the first half but after that, we kept them quite quiet. 

“After that, we did quite well and I think we played well as a team considering it was the first game back after Christmas.

“Callum Roberts made a few good saves to keep us in the game but I feel like we did dominate towards the end of the first half and in the second half.”