Alan Browne is one of our main contenders for many of the end of season awards that will be presented after Sunday’s game.
It has been another huge break out season for the Irishman, cementing himself as a first team regular, with only Tom Barkhuizen having made more appearances than the midfielder.
And looking at the season as a whole, the No.8 feels the team and himself have made significant progress since the appointment of Alex Neil as manager.
“Overall as team we have progressed massively,” he told The One And Only at Springfields this week. “Considering the change in style of play, a lot of teams would fail to adapt as well as we did. I think we adapted really well.
“All the players were willing to take on board the ideas and put them into practice on the pitch and I think that is all the gaffer has asked of us. I think we have done really well in that respect.
"At the same time it has been really disappointing, because we know how hard we have worked, but in some games we just couldn’t put some results together and that’s what has made us come up short so far.
“I didn’t know with the new gaffer coming in whether he would like me or not or how he would want me to play, but it has worked out quite well for me. Playing higher up the pitch has been a role I have really enjoyed. As a kid growing up that is where I have always seen myself playing – further forward – but when I first came over it was a massive step up and gradually I became more of a defensive player in [Simon] Grayson’s eyes, so that is where I was playing most of my games.
“Another aspect is that the way that we play and the role the gaffer wants me to play as a No.10 is quite different to that of a natural No.10. You can see with Josh Harrop, he is more of a natural No.10, but what I do in that role is to try and stop the opposition from playing and when we do have the ball, to try and go and play and help the team score goals and that is what I have been trying to do all season.
“It is good that the gaffer likes me in that role, but at the same time I have played in a lot of positions so far this year and it is good to be able to do that, because as a player you just want to be playing games and whether that is in your favourite position or somewhere else, I am happy.”
Having turned 23 in the middle of last month, the international feels the squad is in a position to continue to develop and push on next season from the foundations they have laid this season.
“I think it is exciting times for the football club.
“The majority of the squad is really young compared to what other teams in our position are like and it is not just the squad that is young, it is players who are actually starting games.
“It is a really young team and it can only develop from this season, taking it as a learning curve and pushing on for next season.
“I think it is important we hold on to the core of our team and don’t let people go, because we have a really good group at the moment and it is about holding on to them, adding to it and pushing on again for the future,” he added.
You can read plenty more from Alan, along with features and interviews with Josh Earl and Daniel Johnson, plus all the usual features and articles in our 100 page edition of The One And Only this Sunday.
The official matchday programme will be on sale from the Sir Tom Finney ticket office from Friday afternoon, on Saturday and then from inside and outside the stadium on matchday for just £3, don’t miss out!