Preston North End have seen their push for promotion from the Championship put on hold for the next few weeks at least, which will provide an opportunity for Alex Neil’s side to take stock of where their campaign is at.
The Lilywhites have enjoyed a largely successful season so far, with Neil’s side delivering some strong performances and picking up points on a consistent basis throughout the campaign, which has seen them in and around the top six in the Championship for most of the term.
However, Preston had suffered a dip in form over the last few weeks with their 3-1 defeat at home to Queens Park Rangers in their last fixture their third successive loss, and meaning they head into the suspension with a one point cushion to 7th placed Bristol City.
Here then, we take a look at THREE Preston players who could benefit most from the EFL suspension…
One of the key absentees for Preston during their recent dip in form has been Ben Pearson, who has been forced to miss out on the Lilywhites’ last two games through injury, and his presence has been missed at the base of the midfield for Neil’s side.
Pearson’s injury was set to keep him out until at least the end of March, which would have seen him miss the Lilywhites’ next few fixtures which have now been cancelled, and that could prevent him with an opportunity for him to recover from his injury fully and get himself back to full fitness.
That could mean that when and if the season resumes, Pearson could potentially return back to the starting line-up and continue to have a strong influence on the side throughout the remainder of the campaign, as Preston look to continue their play-off push.
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Another Preston player who could potentially benefit from the suspension of the campaign could be Paul Gallagher, who like Pearson has also been suffering with injury problems over the last few weeks, with he experienced midfielder having been forced to miss defeat at Fulham a few weeks ago.
However, Gallagher was able to return to action during the defeat against QPR last time out, but the suspension could allow them him to regain some fitness and get back into the best possible physical condition for the rest of the campaign.
Given Gallagher is entering the latter stages of his career it could offer a welcome break in the season for him, and a chance to recharge his batteries and recover from the physically demanding run of games that he has played throughout the season so far.
The third Preston player who could be given a chance to get himself back to full fitness during the suspension is Brad Potts, with the midfielder having been forced to miss out on the Lilywhites’ clash with QPR last time out, having started in the defeat at Fulham.
That start at Fulham provided Potts with the chance to stake a claim for regular game time in the side, with both Pearson and Gallagher missing out through their respective injuries, so he would have been frustrated to have suffered a knock which forced him out against QPR.
Potts has not been able to start a lot of games so far this season through both injury issues and the form of other players, but he could prove to be a really important option to have in the squad for when the season resumes, if he can now get himself back to full fitness.