sport news Sky Bet EFL Q&A: Preston sensation Alan Browne on his idol Steven Gerrard and ...

Hidden away from view, Alan Browne is the goalscoring midfielder that Preston don't want you to know about.

Quietly spoken on and off the pitch, the 23-year-old from Cork has notched 20 goals in his last two seasons at Deepdale, 11 of them this season as Preston have recovered from a disastrous start to now be eyeing the play-off places.

Given his eye for goal, it came as no surprise to learn in this week's Sky Bet EFL Q&A that Browne's idol was Steven Gerrard.

Alan Browne is the goalscoring midfielder that Preston don't want you to know about

Alan Browne is the goalscoring midfielder that Preston don't want you to know about

He names former Blackburn and Stoke midfielder Steven Nzonzi as his hardest opponent, Jose Mourinho as the manager he would like to play for and reveals a surprising guilty TV pleasure.

Describe yourself on the pitch in 3 words.

Passionate. Energetic. Ambitious.

Describe yourself off the pitch in 3 words.

Sociable. Honest. Confident.

Alan Browne named Jose Mourinho as the manager he would like to play for one day

Alan Browne named Jose Mourinho as the manager he would like to play for one day

Best moment of your career so far?

Winning the play-off final with Preston (and securing promotion from Sky Bet League One with a 4-0 victory at Wembley over Swindon in May 2015). I came on as a substitute early doors (for Paul Gallagher in the 37th minute). One of the boys got injured. I think we were 2-0 up at the time, so it wasn't a bad scoreline to come on to.

I'd only just turned 20, so I was quite young at the time and I didn't realise how big a thing it was until maybe a few years after. Just in the moment you don't realise, especially at such a young age. Afterwards I took it all in and I look back on it now as a fond memory.

I don't normally get nervous when I play games, but that one game I remember when the gaffer told me to warm up, I was warming up on the sidelines and took a look around, took it all in. And that did touch off a bit of nerves. I think if I had started the game, I wouldn't have felt that nervous.

The scoreline probably helped me, knowing that we had a lead to hang onto. The game was quite comfortable anyway. It was just about seeing it out and thankfully we added a couple more goals.

Who is the hardest opponent you have faced?

Steven Nzonzi, the France defensive midfielder. I played against him in the summer, against France before the World Cup (a 2-0 win for France over the Republic of Ireland in Paris). He was really good that day. He just seemed to find space. I like to get up against the defensive midfielder and make it hard for them, but everywhere he was, the ball seemed to drop for him. Obviously it was no coincidence. And his range of passing. He kept it simple when I thought I could get there and nick the ball. When he needs to play the spectacular, he will, but he just kept his game simple and it was really effective.

I haven't come up against anyone with the quality of the France side in the Championship, but a lot of players have similarities to him, so it was definitely something I could learn from.

Browne said Steven Nzonzi, the France defensive midfielder, was his hardest opponent

Browne said Steven Nzonzi, the France defensive midfielder, was his hardest opponent

Most embarrassing moment in football?

I scored an own goal against Leeds about three years ago at Elland Road (the only goal in a 1-0 defeat in December 2015). I didn't mind scoring an own goal, it was just that I was taking the kick-off straight after and they had it up on the big screen. They replayed it two or three times and I just had to stand there and watch it. The fans celebrated every time.

I was running back towards my own goal and someone crossed it in. I went to head it but because I was running towards my own goal, I headed it into the net. I probably could have done

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