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'He tried to hit McClean and hit me instead!' - Browne avoids injury to boost Preston's promotion bid

The Ireland midfielder found the net in last night’s win.

ALAN BROWNE RECKONS he was fortunate to avoid being injured after he was inadvertently tackled by one of his own team-mates while playing for Preston North End last night.

Browne had to leave the pitch to receive treatment when he was caught on the ankle in the second half of a 2-0 victory away to Stoke City.

PA-50298251 Alan Browne is congratulated by Preston team-mates after opening the scoring against Stoke City. Source: Nick Potts/PA Wire/PA Images

Moments after returning to the field of play, he opened the scoring to send Preston on their way to a win that keeps them in the Championship’s play-off spots.

When speaking to the Lancashire Post after the game, the midfielder revealed that he had been hurt by a team-mate, Darnell Fisher, whose intended target was one of Browne’s international colleagues. 

“I thought it was bad when it first happened and I said I would give it a minute or two,” said Browne, who has been in excellent form recently while captaining Preston from a deep-lying midfield role.

“In those two minutes I managed to get a tap-in. I think the adrenaline got me through the game. I actually scored with my bad leg – I shanked it and it went in. It just fell to me perfectly and that is gold dust for any midfielder or striker. It was good to get another goal,” added the 24-year-old, who has scored three times this season.

“It was Fish [Darnell Fisher] who actually caught me. I think he tried to hit James McClean and he hit me instead! He could have been sent off if he had hit the right person. He was probably lucky it was me, to be honest.”

Tom Barkhuizen capped the win with a second goal in the 75th minute. After getting the better of a Stoke side who hadn’t lost at home since November, sixth-placed Preston have now won four of their last five Championship fixtures as they bid to stay in contention for promotion to the Premier League for next season.

Soon after his goal, Browne attempted to play peacemaker during a flare-up between James McClean and Preston’s Ben Pearson, which saw both players booked.

stoke-city-v-preston-north-end-sky-bet-championship-bet365-stadium Tempers flared after Ben Pearson and James McClean clashed. Source: Nick Potts

“I tried to grab Pearo but there were about 15 players trying to do that, so it was difficult,” said Browne. “He has a bit of history with James McClean in the past – they don’t particularly like each other. It is what it is, you have to get on with it.

“Coming away to places like that, it’s all about results rather than performances. It was a snatch-and-grab in the end but we will take them every day of the week.”

Browne, who started in Ireland’s two most recent competitive fixtures, has won nine senior international caps.

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Paul Dollery

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