JONATHAN Woodgate believes midfielder Ben Pearson will have no point to prove to Preston, as he heads back to his old stomping ground tomorrow.

The midfielder in January sealed a move to Cherries from the Lancashire side for a nominal fee. His contract with the Lilywhites was set to run out in the summer.

Pearson played 165 times for North End across a five-year spell, having previously come through the youth ranks at Manchester United.

But Woodgate insists the 26-year-old’s displays in recent weeks have already shown the impact he could have at Cherries.

The manager said: “Ben doesn’t have a point to prove, that’s for sure. He’s already done that in his performances over the past couple of weeks.

“He’s been very, very good in his performances.

“He’s brought a solidity to the midfield area. I think he’s been very good but he doesn’t have a point to prove against Preston.”

The Lilywhites also lost star centre-back Ben Davies in January, a player the Daily Echo understands Cherries had multiple bids turned down for.

“I think they lost two exceptional players in Ben Pearson and Ben Davies,” said Woodgate.

“You take those two players out of any team and it’s going to be tough. If you were putting a team together in the Championship, they wouldn’t be too far away.”