Ben Pearson is hoping the Lilywhites can continue their positive form from away home, having made it five without defeat on the road with the 2-1 win over Wigan Athletic.
North End’s No.4 played a key part in the victory, particularly for Tom Barkhuizen’s opening goal with a fine ball in behind for Daniel Johnson to provide the assist, and helping the team to see out the win with a more defensive second half display.
It’s now back-to-back away wins for the Lilywhites, part of a five-match unbeaten streak on the road stretching back to December, and with another away trip to Stoke City approaching on Wednesday night, Pearson is hoping he and his team-mates can continue their positive form away from home.
“It was about consolidating, making sure you get men behind the ball, making sure they don’t get the next goal,” the midfielder told iFollow PNE. “Second half, we come out, start really well and get that second goal and it kills them off a little bit. Conceding quite soon after that was disappointing and then we’re hanging on towards the end.
“I think a 2-1 win is fair and we’ll just crack on now, carry on our away form and see where it gets us.”
Pearson admitted he has tried to play more of a part in the final third this season, having played such an important part in this afternoon’s first goal and also setting up Scott Sinclair for a decent first half opening.
“I haven’t seen it back [the pass in the first goal build-up] so I don’t know how good it looks, but there was a big gap and DJ was in, so I just played it and let DJ do the rest. He squared a lovely ball to Barky and it got us underway well. It was nice to start with a goal.
“I think that’s what I’ve tried to do this season [impact in the final third] as well as my main strength, which is obviously being defensively sound, reading balls, covering defenders.
“I think you’ve just got to add all the strings to your bow, I think them killer passes I needed to improve on, I needed to affect games further forward, get more assists, more key passes in, which I’ve managed to do the past couple of games.
“I just need to continue that, it’s more just influencing a game rather than letting the game pass by you and not being involved as much – just influencing games week in, week out.”
As well as looking to continue the positive run on the road, Pearson is hopeful the Lilywhites can stretch their current unbeaten run of five – both home and away – further in a packed February schedule.
“I think this month will be crucial, I think we’ve got a lot of tough games, we’ve got Stoke on Wednesday and then Millwall and Fulham coming up.
“I think this next six or seven games are crucial, I think we need to accumulate as many points as possible to keep us in and around the top six, because I think the last month of the season, it’s anyone’s [game].
“As long as you’re in and around that by the end, then you’ve got a chance.”
The midfielder was also full of praise for the impact of PNE’s travelling supporters.
“I thought they were a lot louder than their fans, it looked from the pitch anyway that there were more of our fans than theirs, which is good.
“I think we obviously filled out that stand pretty much and when you go 1-0 up, it gives them something to cheer as well. I think it’s vice versa, they cheer you on and we give them something to shout about which was good.
“They’ve been brilliant away from home, we’ve always had big numbers travelling and that’s always good.”
Watch Pearo’s post-match thoughts in full on iFollow PNE.