Preston North End forward Jayden Stockley is hoping for an opportunity to impress in Tuesday night’s Carabao Cup first round tie with Bradford City.
The Lilywhites’ No.20 has come off the bench in the opening two league games of the season and is targeting a positive performance at the Utilita Energy Stadium, if selected from the start by manager Alex Neil.
Speaking to iFollow PNE to look ahead for the roses cup clash, the former Exeter City frontman was delighted to be going into the match on the back of three league points against Wigan Athletic at the weekend.
“It was great to see a bit of confidence from the boys; especially at the end of the first half and the beginning of the second – there was some brilliant football played and on another day we could have got more goals if we had been more clinical,” he said.
“It was good to see us get our first three points of the season though; we were all very disappointed after the Millwall game, I don’t think we gave a fair reflection of how we have been in pre-season and it is a confidence boost that can hopefully give us a bit of momentum.
“I was pleased to be involved in both the opening games. Everyone wants to start, so there is that tinge of disappointment, but anyone who goes out there should be up to the job and there should be an element of pressure on them to perform to keep their shirts.
“I think it is healthy for anyone to have their place under pressure, you don’t want to be anywhere where you are down to the bare bones – we have people pushing for every position here and that is going to make us stronger.
“I hope I play [at Bradford]; I am desperate to play and get some minutes and push for selection from the start in games.
“I see it as an opportunity for me – as I am sure others do – to impress the gaffer and do everything right. It was a really good first round to get, at a good stadium and I am really looking forward to it and hoping for a positive performance.”
If changes are made, the attacker is confident that the group has the quality to keep the levels high once again: “The gaffer has a lot of trust in the players,” continued Jayden.
“You saw the calibre of players we had both on the bench and in the stand at the weekend and he has a lot of players who can be called upon to go straight into the team and do a good job for him.
“What he is probably looking for is consistency in games, to do it game after game, and that is certainly something I am looking for when I do play, to play well and keep the momentum going for myself.”
And as a cup game, it is one that he feels was a good draw for the team, although slightly different normal, with PNE not classed as the underdog for a change.
“As soon as it got drawn, it was an exciting one to get. They will be wanting to challenge us; when I was at Exeter and I played against a team from a higher division, it was a chance to prove yourself and a chance to test yourself and that’s what this will be.
“They are a big club that probably doesn’t deserve to be in that division and they will want to prove that and it will be up to us to keep our levels high and treat them with the respect they deserve.
“We play against so many teams with big budgets, big stadiums and big fan bases, then you suddenly go into games like this, in cup ties, where roles are reversed, but that shouldn’t affect you, it should give you confidence that we are at a great club, with great fans and we have a chance to put ourselves out there and do the best,” he added.