North End midfielder Ben Pearson has is excited to be linking up with new signing Josh Harrop once again, following the forward’s transfer from Manchester United.
Harrop, 21, has put pen to paper on four-year deal at Deepdale with effect from July 3rd and Pearson spent time with the Stockport-born man at United prior to his switch to PNE.
Speaking to PNE.Com the North End No.4 said: “I’ve known Josh now for 12 to 15 years; he was a year below me when I was at Manchester United. We played in the same youth team and in the
reserves - so I’ve played with him a lot - I know him well and I know him well off the field as well.
“He’s a good lad, a good player and a big character in the changing room. He knows what it’s about playing at this level - he knows he needs to leave now to get proper game time.
“He’ll be hoping to bed in with the squad now and I think he’ll be a real asset. He’s got good quality with the ball and without the ball, he works hard and he’ll give his all.”
Starting at United at the age of eight, Ben knows the situation Josh is in having to leave a club you’ve grown up at, but Pearson is confident that Harrop will use his new surroundings and experiences to benefit and push him on.
“When you join a new club it is a bit nerve racking, but you’re optimistic about what the lads will be like. I think knowing a friendly face will help him on and off the field.
“It’s always tough if you’ve been there so long and that’s the only thing you’ve known. I don’t think Josh has been out on loan, so it’ll probably be a shock at first, but it’s only good a thing for you when you do get out and you actually start playing.
“You’ll see what you’ve missed and what you can do going forward. If he plays the way he can and he gels with the squad it’ll be beneficial for him.”
‘Pearo’s’ competitive nature has seen him become a fans favourite at Deepdale and his new team-mate shares his competitive and combative spirit – which will surely go down well with the PNE faithful.
“He can put his foot in - I’ve seen it a few times in training - and in games he’s not scared either. He’s probably not as vocal as me, he’s a bit more reserved.
“He’s emotional with his game and he doesn’t like to lose and I’m sure everyone will see that. As much as he likes to put his foot in he’s got really good quality on the ball.”
With exciting new additions finalised, the focus is starting to turn towards the first game of the Championship season at home to Sheffield Wednesday in August. The former Red Devil is only looking up the table and can’t wait for proceedings to get under way.
“I’m really, really excited. We’ve got to finish higher than last year. Finishing 11th again last year was good, but we were disappointed with how we finished.
“Anything above 11th would be good, but I think we’ve got to be aiming for the Play-Offs this year. With the improvements to the squad and how the last few seasons have gone the top six has to be the aim.
“Last year we had a really good season and the only way to improve is for some players to go out and better ones to come in, but the club’s going in the right direction with the signings currently being made. It’s an improvement on last year so hopefully that leads to improvement on the position we finished last season.”
The fans have also been getting excited about the new Generation Deepdale and the project has the full backing of PNE’s midfielder.
“I think the more fans in the stadium the better atmosphere it is. You only need to look at last year when we had full crowds in the stadium, the performances were better.
“It motivates the players just that little bit more and it gets you pumped for the day. The more fans that are in the stadium the better for everyone involved.”