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First Team News

Earl Adapting To Life In The Championship

10 October 2017

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Young defender Josh Earl feels he has settled in to life in the Championship well, and he attributed that to his teammates.

After signing professional terms in the summer, Earl had never expected to have been a regular in the side in the first few months of the season but the defender is enjoying the challenge and feels he is adapting well to the step up to the Championship.

Speaking to iFollow PNE, the 18-year-old said: "The boys helped me settle in as soon as I started playing and I can't thank them enough for that because it's made my job easier by them talking to me on the pitch and helping me throughout the games.

"The boys have taught me the role a lot, Tommy Spurr has helped me a lot and Ben Davies playing alongside, Greg has helped me a lot too and they've all helped me learn the position better than what I would have done just doing it on my own.

"It's good because I feel like I've tested myself, I feel like I've dealt with the wingers that we've come up against on most occasions so I just need to keep on going and winning my battles individually and playing well as a team as well. "

Earl also spoke highly of manager Alex Neil, and feels his style of management has already benefited him as a player since the gaffer took over.

T"he gaffer helps me a lot, he always talks to me, if I do something wrong instead of just leaving me to figure it out myself he will talk to me and tells me what I've done and what I should do next time. Tommo helps me a lot too and so does Frankie, they help a lot with learning positions etc.

"The gaffer is really into his analysis stuff so it's really good for me as a young player because I know before the game exactly what I need to do during the game. I know how to stop my winger, what his strengths and weaknesses are and it's really good so that helps me a lot."

Earl was speaking to iFollow PNE after the players enjoyed a rare weekend's rest before the hard work started again on Monday morning. The PNE Academy graduate was grateful of the rest after experiencing the intensity of the Championship for the first time this season.

"The International break has come at a really good time, it's given me a much needed rest and a chance to chill out over the weekend and do nothing and just recover. It does get to you, especially because it's my first time in this league and playing week in, week out in the Championship is tough so having the few days off allows me to recover and get back into the swing of things.

Despite there being no game last week, there was no downing of tools at Springfields with the training sessions just as intense, something Earl feels is vital.

"You need it, if you just chill out for the whole two weeks you will start to lose your fitness and your sharpness and so it's good to keep working hard throughout the week."

Hear more from Josh on iFollow PNE now by clicking on the video above.

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