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First Team News

Ben Welcomes Deepdale Return For Championship Double Header

19 August 2021

Ben Whiteman is looking forward to returning to Deepdale for back-to-back league games in front of the home crowd.

The midfielder, who joined from Doncaster Rovers in January, made his first appearance in front of fans at Deepdale in the season opener against Hull City, and the visit of Peterborough United this weekend will be his second chance to see the Lilywhites faithful at home.

North End took the lead just eight minutes into that Hull fixture through Emil Riis, and Ben noted the noise inside the stadium during that moment.

He told iFollow PNE: “When the first goal went in the atmosphere was unbelievable. We couldn’t build on that unfortunately but we’re looking forward to a couple of home games now and hopefully we can put in a positive performance and get a positive result.

“The crowd getting behind you is massive. I’ve said it all along, fans are everything in football, so hopefully they can get behind us and we can show them what we’re about.”

PNE head into Saturday’s game following a midweek defeat against Huddersfield Town, with North End conceding in unfortunate circumstances through a Sepp van den Berg own goal.

Ben felt that was the best of the team’s three performances so far in the Championship campaign, though, and he said they’re looking to take the best bits into the weekend’s game.

“I think the goal the other night was very unfortunate,” he admitted. “Things are going against us like that at the minute, so as a squad, as a group, as a club I think we all need to stick together and pull in the right direction and hopefully start churning out some positive results.

“Them games are gone now. They’re in the past so we can only look forward and try and build on the good bits from Tuesday night. Hopefully we can do that and we can put on a positive performance and get a positive result at the weekend.

“I think if you come away from the [Huddersfield] game with a clean sheet then it gives you a good platform to build on. Unfortunately it didn’t happen, it was a freak goal really but we’re going into the weekend now.

"That’s in the past the game on Tuesday night, so we’ll go into the weekend with aspirations to put in a good performance to try and get a really positive result and try and stick together as a squad, for the coaching staff and as a management team.”

Sticking together is something which Josh Earl told iFollow PNE the squad would have absolutely no problem doing given their close-knit nature, and midfielder Ben has reinforced just how important that is.

“It’s massive,” he said. “The squad’s togetherness is very good. At the minute we’re in a rough patch but we’ve got characters in there and we’re all wanting to turn it around and hopefully that starts on the weekend.

“We go into every game wanting to win the game. The performances from the first few games weren’t good enough, we know that, but I think there was a lot of good bits from Tuesday night and things that we can definitely build on and work for into the weekend.”

Ben's interview is available to watch now on iFollow PNE at the top of the page.


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