Kevin Davies is relishing the build up to PNE’s match versus Wolves and says he would love to get on the score sheet on his competitive debut for the Club.
North End welcome Kenny Jackett’s side to Deepdale on Saturday for the opening game of the League One season and Davies believes the Lilywhites are ready for the match after weeks of hard graft.
“I think we’ve all been working towards this as a squad and as a team,” he told PNE.Com.
“We’re only a couple of days away from it now and we’ve had a good pre-season, the squad pretty healthy in terms of injuries – we’ve not picked up any, there have been one or two niggles which we’ll hopefully have back.
“So we’re all raring to go, with a couple of days to go the build up starts to build and the excitement of the return to football and getting the fans back really counts .
“I’ve really enjoyed my time since I’ve been here and the business starts at the weekend.”
The 36-year-old last made a competitive debut at club level for Bolton Wanderers, over a decade ago, but insists he has no apprehension towards this weekend’s clash, thanks to the warm welcome he has received from everyone at Deepdale.
“I feel really settled, I’ve only been here three weeks but I feel like I’m settled, I’m happy,” he added.
“The fans, the players and all the staff have made me feel really welcome and I feel really part of the squad already so we’ll look forward to the game.”
“The manager has to make the selection, the team’s not been named so we’re all working hard towards being in that side and staying in it so we’ll see what comes up in terms of selection.
“Hopefully I’ll be starting, as we all want to be, so looking forward to that and looking forward to the next couple of days.
“It’ll be great driving in with the family for the game at the weekend – I think that’s when it all starts to hit home really, when you wake up that morning and you know you’ve got a competitive game and start of the league, that’s what we all strive for really.”
Simon Grayson’s side enjoyed a fruitful pre-season campaign, winning three and drawing two of their warm-up games against quality opposition, and Davies believes their preparation will stand them in good stead for 2013/14, starting with Wolves on Saturday.
“Pre-season, some players can find it difficult to get themselves up for games, they’re hard to gauge really but I think we’ve had a good pre-season,” he said.
“The fitness levels are all there, I played against Blackburn and then got 90 minutes at the weekend against Rochdale so personally, from my point of view, I feel I’m there fitness-wise and raring to go.
“It’s a league game, we want to hit the ground running against Wolves and we know we’ve got the cup game to follow after that but we’re all focussed on the Wolves game to start with.”
Meanwhile, the striker admits he would love to score the winning goal this weekend and open his League One account at Deepdale.
However, he reiterated that he will be happy as long as he can make a positive contribution to the squad’s performances this season.
“I want to contribute and play my part, if that means scoring goals and winning goals then that’s what strikers are in the team for,” Davies continued.
“There are other parts to me game which, if selected, I’ve done over the years and I’m very much a team player.
“It’d be great to get off the mark at the weekend and maybe score the winning goal, of course, and get us up and running but we’ll see.”
The visitors have been billed as favourites for automatic promotion and a return to the Championship this season but Davies is adamant that North End will concentrate solely on themselves - paying no attention to the hype surrounding their opposition.
“We’ll worry about ourselves,” he stated.
“From the moment I sat down and talked to the Club, we looked at the squad and we probably feel we could name two teams on Saturday.”
“There’s competition right throughout the team which is what you need and what the manager will want.
“I’m sure he’s going to have a few headaches picking the starting eleven at the weekend, from what he’s seen so far, but I’m sure that’s a headache he’ll like having.
“We know we’re going to need to use the squad, even in the next two or three days with the two games in three days, I’m sure the squad will get used.
“Wolves at home will be a great way to start and get a good win against someone who’s tipped to be right up there and winning the league but we’ve got our own ambitions and it’ll be a big test for us.”
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