Iversen continues to impress as Preston stay afloat

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A contract at Leicester City and representing Denmark at under-21 level are just two of the things that Daniel Iversen and Kasper Schmeichel have in common.

Ability, presence and natural confidence appear to be other characteristics that the two goalkeepers share and the 23-year-old could be following in his compatriots’ career trajectory if his performances at Preston are anything to go by.

Schmeichel comes from a rich footballing heritage and dons the captain’s armband for the Foxes when club skipper Wes Morgan is not on the pitch. It’s more than just a title however and the Dane is a leader on the pitch for the side currently chasing Champions League qualification.

This is where Iversen differs slightly. While the Leicester City number one can often be heard bellowing instructions to his teammates throughout the whole match, the Preston shot-stopper comes across as a quieter, calmer sort of competitor.

That’s not to say the on-loan man doesn’t possess a presence. He’s been a consistent figure in a side completely changed by transfers, injuries and management upheaval. An injury to Declan Rudd brought the need for Preston to find a new goalkeeper in January.

Having started the season in Belgium on loan at Leicester’s sister club OH Leuven, the move was cut short in order for Iversen to make the switch to Lancashire.

The 23-year-old has made 16 appearances since the move, keeping four clean sheets in the process. It’s his third stint on loan in the Football League having had previous spells at Oldham Athletic and Rotherham in League Two and League One. This has stood him in good stead and he has kept North End alive in many of his appearances.

Against Norwich on Good Friday, Iversen held firm against the division’s second highest scorers to keep Preston in the game and allow them to snatch a point in the dying seconds of the game thanks to Brad Potts’ equaliser.

In truth, on another day where Teemu Pukki would have had his shooting boots on and buried the three one on one chances he was presented but on the day the Finn was slightly off form.

Iversen at least narrowed the angles and didn’t make it easy for the striker which is an important part of goalkeeping.

The shot-stopper did make a massive save early on as the ball broke to Bali Mumba on the right-hand side of the penalty area who found himself in acres of space. It was a brilliant chance to open the scoring but the Dane rushed out of his goal and made himself big, giving Mumba very little to aim at and smothering the full-back’s effort.

Iversen made other solid saves from long range efforts from Todd Cantwell and Marco Stiepermann. They were saves you’d expect the goalkeeper to make but the on-loan man stood up nonetheless.

The 23-year-old also showed some other decent aspects to his game including sweeping, getting out quickly from his area and heading the ball into touch before Pukki could take advantage.

There was nothing the goalkeeper could do about Emi Buendia’s fine strike from outside the box and there’s no shame in conceding to probably the best player in the Championship.

It was a steady, solid performance that helped the Lilywhites get a crucial point and inch closer to survival which must be the aim of interim boss Frankie McAvoy.

Schmeichel also spent a lot of time in the lower leagues before establishing himself in the top flight. Iversen will be hoping to follow in his footsteps and who knows, Leicester may have Schmeichel’s long term replacement already on their books.

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