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First Team News

Ali: “The Whole Camp Is Positive”

31 January 2022

Ali McCann felt the weekend’s stoppage-time equaliser was “massive” to continue the recent momentum at PNE heading in to Tuesday’s game against Millwall.

The Northern Ireland international was brought on as a half-time substitute against Bristol City on Saturday, playing a key role in the build up to Emil Riis’ stunning volley.

Ali tracked back to earn the ball from Cameron Pring on the edge of his own penalty area, kickstarting the attack which led to the equaliser.

Speaking to iFollow PNE, Ali said: “I think getting the equaliser at the end was massive for us and it gives us that momentum to hopefully build on it.

“It just shows the sort of character in the group that even until the 95th or 96th minute, everyone’s driving towards getting good results and it’s a testament to the group and how the club’s going at the minute. It was good to get a point in the end.

“I was just sprinting, chasing him back and luckily I managed to just nick in, but I wouldn’t have expected what happened after that.

“It was a great goal. Pottsy’s cross and Emil’s finish is brilliant, and it summed up the group as a whole and hopefully we can kick on now.”

For Ali, having been brought to the club under different management, he – like the rest of his team-mates – has had to adjust to life under new manager Ryan Lowe.

Since starting in the gaffer’s first game, the 22-year-old has otherwise not been included in a Championship starting XI, but Ali is doing all he can on the training pitch to show he is ready when needed.

He said: “The last few weeks I’ve not been playing as much so I’ve just knuckled down, made sure if I was called upon I’d be ready and sharp enough, so if I’m needed in the next few games then I’ll be ready. That’s just what football’s like.

“It’s healthy competition after all. We all push each other to be better.

“The schedule down here is relentless so there’s going to be people dropping out here and there and chances for people like myself to come in and prove a point that you can do a job for the team.

“Whenever these chances come about you’ve got to do what you can to take it.”

North End have added extra competition during the January transfer window, bringing Aston Villa forward Cameron Archer to the club on loan until the end of the season, while defender Bambo Diaby has also signed a deal until the end of the campaign.

Ali added: “They’ve both started really well; they’ve looked really sharp in training.

“You’ve seen it from Cameron coming on against West Brom and then playing on the weekend, he’s sharp, he’s got an eye for a goal and I’m sure he’ll be good for us until the end of the season.

“Bambo has been good in training, it’s now just time for him to show it in a game and I’m sure the two of them will be really good players for Preston.”

Watch Ali's full interview on iFollow PNE above.

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