Preston North End defender Jack King believes there are many positives to be taken from the 2013/14 season, despite the Club’s Play-Off semi-final defeat to Rotherham United.
The Lilywhites finished fifth in Sky Bet League One under Simon Grayson, nine places higher than in 2012/13, but were beaten 4-2 on aggregate by Steve Evans' side over two legs.
And King, who made 29 appearances over the course of the season, believes the Club can take heart from the turnaround in its fortunes over the last 18 months.
“There are a lot of positives that can be taken,” he told PNE.Com in an exclusive interview.
“At Christmas last year we were down and out, we were looking at relegation so we have come a long way in an 18 month period.
“There are a lot of positives that can be taken out of it but ultimately we are disappointed with how it has ended.”
The 2013/14 campaign saw King emerge as a solid centre half after being tried and tested in a variety of positions over the last two years.
The 28-year-old is pleased to have nailed down a regular spot in defence and outlined his plans to improve at the position.
“It’s nice that I have played predominantly in one position this season, it gives me something to focus on and I’m learning that position,” King added.
“It is a new position to me and it’s a position which I want to learn, I want to keep improving and hopefully, if I can maintain my place in the side then it can only really benefit me.”
A broken foot in a pre-season friendly against Rochdale ruled King out for a couple of months at the start of the season and continued to plague the defender. He returned to regular football in November but suffered a set back over the festive period.
“Obviously this season has not been ideal for myself, with the injury that I had at the start and a recurrence of that injury around Christmas time,” King said.
“So it’s not been ideal and I’ve not been able to play in as many games as I would have liked but the games that I’ve played in I’ve done okay and it is something I would like to build off of.
“I played a lot of games last year in a lot of different positions and focusing on the one position now I want to get better there and hopefully the gaffer’s faith in me I can pay back.”
As the players head off for a short break from football, King reflected on the fantastic support the Club has received during the season and looked towards 2014/15 with optimism.
“The Club is going together forward as a unit,” he said.
“We feel the backing as players, the away support in particular has been superb this season, sell-outs at nearly every game so that really helps.
“We’re going forward as one, it’s not been ideal to finish in the way we have but hopefully we can come back stronger next season and get the automatic promotion rather than the lottery of the Play-Offs.”