Marnick Vermijl is hoping to put Saturday’s defeat to Leeds United behind him when Preston North End travel to face Huddersfield Town on Good Friday.
The right-back was playing for the first time since undergoing a hernia operation in February and although he was happy to return to the side, he was disappointed by the final score.
“It was good to be back out there but it was just a shame about the result,” the 25-year-old told PNE.com. “We had two good chances and if you score one of those, it makes it a totally different game.
“Then we got done by three goals which was not like us. Hopefully, we can make it right against Huddersfield on Friday.
“At this level, if you don’t take your chances, you know it’s going to be difficult. If you look at Leeds and Huddersfield, they’re up there because they’re scoring a lot of goals. We were scoring a lot of goals, but just at the weekend we were a bit unlucky with the chances that we had.”
Vermijl had been out for almost two months but explained that he was ready to push on in the final matches of the campaign with plenty of competition for places at the back.
“I was struggling for a long time before I had my operation. We finally decided to have it because it was impossible to continue with it. It didn’t take that long to get back after the operation because within the first week I was running already, and then during the international break I could work on my fitness a little bit.
“You feel fresh, but it’s just like you missed a little bit of game time. You can be as fit as you want but games are always a little bit different, so it was good to get 60 minutes against Leeds and hopefully I can kick on from there.
“It keeps all the players sharp and it gives the gaffer something to think about. We all want to do our best and we all want to be in the team, but there’s some good competition in training and that’s when you need to show your best. He will pick whoever he thinks is best to win the game.”
With the Lilywhites now set to face fellow promotion challengers Huddersfield and then Norwich City over the Easter weekend, the Belgian felt sure that PNE have the quality required to fend off those opponents.
“I think now we’ve got some players in the team who can make a difference and can do something out of nothing, even if they play badly. We always know that there will be that one chance which will come and I think that’s something we didn’t have as much of last year.
“If you look at the teams that are up there, there will be six, seven or eight teams who think ‘we will try to get in the play-offs’. If you see the teams that are still behind us, they are some big names in English football. we have done really well this season, we’re just unlucky that we lost against Leeds otherwise we would be nearer to the play-offs.”