Tom Barkhuizen felt PNE gave a “really good account” of themselves in the 1-0 pre-season victory over Celtic.
Ben Whiteman’s second half penalty, awarded after a foul on Sean Maguire, proved to be the only goal of what was an entertaining affair in Glasgow.
While for the Lilywhites this was the third game of pre-season, Celtic are deeper into their preparations as they get themselves ready for a Champions League qualifier against FC Midtjylland on Tuesday evening.
Speaking to iFollow PNE, Barky said: “[It was a] tough game, that’s what you want in pre-season. It was tough on the legs, the weather was tough as well, but we gave a really good account of ourselves.
“We showed how solid we are and I think both sides will come away thinking that was a really good game, especially for a pre-season game.
“I think it probably helped us that they’ve got a big game on Tuesday because they obviously wanted to go in there with a good game under their belts. They knew we were here and we give anyone a good game.
“We’re more than happy in the dressing room and hopefully it’s a sign of things to come because I think our shape off the ball and on the ball was really good and we caused them a lot of problems.”
Barky, who has featured heavily in the three friendlies so far, played as a right wing back at Celtic Park, and he nearly played a part in an opening goal within four minutes.
He bombed down the right flank before creating a great opportunity, pulling the ball back to Scott Sinclair who in turn found Brad Potts, but goalkeeper Vasilis Barkas denied PNE’s No.44.
“It’s something we work on,” Barky added. “We know our wing backs are our out balls when we play that formation, and it helps when you’ve got people with the pace of Jordan [Storey] and [Andrew] Hughesy as the side centre halves because you know you can be more aggressive because they’re so quick getting back, and that gave me more license to get forward at times.
“We knew there were going to be times where we had to sit in, which we did, and we communicated well. It would have been a nice start to the game because I think after that it was tough for probably about ten or 15 minutes.
“We kind of got pushed back and were overloaded, especially down our side, but we dealt with it really well.
“We kept a clean sheet, we limited them to shots from the edge of the box and that’s what we’ve got to do, and when we needed Dec [Rudd], he was there.”
The game against Celtic brought North End’s week up in Scotland to an end, but work will continue back at the club’s Euxton training ground, with fixtures against Bolton Wanderers and Accrington Stanley to prepare for.
Speaking about the pre-season camp, Barky said: “It’s always good to be around the boys. Do I miss being at home? Of course I do.
“I think everyone does, but we had a nice game of golf the other day and it’s a good laugh around the lads all the time, so it’s been a good week and now it’s time to get our feet up tomorrow and then go again, because we’ve got another couple of games next week, it’s non-stop.”
Hear more from Tom in his full interview with iFollow PNE at the top of the page.