Preston North End midfielder Ben Pearson could return to the squad on Tuesday night after completing his suspension for a post-game red card against Bolton Wanderers.
The Lilywhites’ No.4 has had to watch from the sidelines since before the last international break and is looking forward to potentially returning in a competition he has not played a lot of football in the past couple of seasons.
Speaking to iFollow PNE he admitted it has been a difficult few weeks to watch from the stands and that he was looking to have an immediate impact upon his return to availability.
“It has been tough the past two or three weeks, so it will be nice to get back out there,” he said. “It has felt like a long time what with the three games and the international break as well, so it will be nice to be out there with the lads and playing football again.
“Over the past 18 months I haven’t played a lot of the Carabao Cup games, but it will be nice to get some minutes.
“When you have been out for a couple of weeks it slows your rhythm down and you need to get back into that momentum, so it is good for me to hopefully get some minutes tomorrow and hopefully a win.”
He last start in the competition came back in 2016 when the Lilywhites came off the back of a 5-0 defeat to Brentford and a difficult start to the season, to upset Premier League Bournemouth and start a superb run of results, something Ben is hoping can be repeated.
“I think it could be just the same,” he continued. “I remember the same situation exactly two years ago.
“I was sat in the stands at Brentford when we lost 5-0, thinking we were struggling and I wasn’t on the pitch to help out and then the Bournemouth game came and the manager made changes, we won the game and a lot of those lads kept their places for the next game and that set us up for the next 30 games where we probably only lost about two games and we moved up the league.
“Everyone hopes that sort of cup game tomorrow will spur us on.
“I think if we can get a good win and a performance then it will hopefully be something that can roll on into the league.”
And the Oldham-born man’s availability is something that will also help the manager when it comes to getting round pegs in round holes!
“We can start to get back to the formation and personnel we have had for 18 months to a year.
“Having that settled XI and formation does the team good, you get into a rhythm and that is what the manager will be looking to do over the next couple of games.
“The be all and end all is that we need good performances and we need results; it doesn’t matter about the team or the formation, we just need the points and progress in the cup can hopefully then lead to that,” he added.
Ben talks about getting everyone back and available and getting a run of results going in the full interview on iFollow; click on the video link at the top of the story to watch.