Preston North End captain Alan Browne says he does not have any right to go back into the side as he returns from a three match ban this weekend.
The Lilywhites’ skipper missed the last three games after his controversial red card at Middlesbrough and although he is now free of suspension, the No.8 is not expecting to go straight back into the starting XI.
“I don’t expect to get in any time soon, the boys have done that well,” he told iFollow PNE. “It is tough for me, because I want to play, but I don’t have the right to play just because I am captain.
“Everyone is in the same boat; you deserve to keep your place if you are playing well.
“The boys who have been playing have been doing fantastic and it is up to Frankie who he selects. I want to play, but I don’t have any right to.”
The last few weeks have been tough for Browney; he was suspended for what turned out to be Alex Neil’s last game as manager and then immediately left the squad for almost two weeks to go away with the Republic of Ireland.
And then once back, with the changes having been made, he wasn’t able to play a part in the first two games with Frankie in charge and he admits, it was not easy.
“It has been horrible,” he continued. “The only luck I got was the international break came after the first game, so that split it up and so I still got games, got my fitness and when I came back the games were in quick succession, so it was all over in a week and I can focus on the next game now and try and get myself back in, so I can help the boys.
“It was a strange one. When I left, I wasn’t deluded, there was a lot of talk about the gaffer leaving; it happened shortly after I met up with Ireland. I was gutted at the time.
“I managed to speak to a few of the boys and said that we needed to focus on the task in hand, forget about everything else that was going on and the boys have done that, they have been fantastic.
“I spoke to Frankie, he said the boys have been class and we just needed that turn in luck. I don’t think it was the gaffer’s fault, by any means, things just weren’t going well and something had to change and the gaffer understands that – it comes with the job.
“Even the last two games show that if you get that little bit of luck that you need – two last minute goals – it just changes the atmosphere and mentality and the boys believe that we can go and win games and I think that is all that’s been lacking for most of the year.”
And he was one of the thousands who watched the win at Swansea on iFollow PNE: “I had to sign up and pay my £10! But it was good to watch and I was buzzing when the goal went in at the end, me and the little man bouncing around!
“It has probably been a bit of relief for the boys, because we haven’t played that badly all year – some games haven’t been up to scratch, but we have just been missing that little bit of luck and we have deserved that and it has shown in the celebrations and you get that belief which comes with it. Against Swansea we dominated large parts of the game and we got what we deserved.”
Brentford are the opponents this weekend and Alan agrees with the interim head coach’s assessment, that games against the Bees in the past are not relevant when the whistle blows on Saturday.
“It doesn’t matter how you played previously, it is a whole new game. You have got teams who are fighting to go up, teams who are fighting to stay up and there are very few teams who are in between and not fighting for anything.
“Every game in this league is tough and none more so than the next game. I have read what Frankie has been saying, and he is right, you cannot look back, you have to look forward and take each game as it comes and focus on the opponent ahead of you,” he added.
This weekend we will again have full and exclusive coverage of the game live on iFollow PNE, with former PNE centre half Michael Jackson alongside Jonathan Breeze bringing you all the action from 2.30pm. Click here now to purchase an iFollow PNE match pass.