Preston North End centre half Jordan Storey admits that his rapid rise to become a first team regular has surprised even himself.
Speaking to iFollow PNE ahead of the visit of Bristol City to Deepdale this weekend, the former Exeter City defender feels that he has made a lot of progress and faced a number of different tests in his short spell at the club.
“I think my development has been going great,” said the No.14. “I think it has gone better than expected; I didn’t expect to play as many games, but I am starting to establish myself now and I am really pleased with how things are going.
“It helps not only me, but the team in general, to know that we have such a strong bench. Everyone knows that they can’t have a bad game, because they know the players on the bench are itching to go and are good enough to step up and do the job.
“I am enjoying it. I take every game as it comes, but it has been great to play a consistent amount of games and to get the good results we have got lately, makes it even better.
“I have had great and differing experiences. I have come against players who can stretch the game and run in behind, players who can hold the ball up and a lot of big physical presence, so you have to be on your ‘A’ game every week, so it has been a good test for me.”
The run of eight games without defeat has seen the side rise into the top ten, just six points behind the visitors to PR1 this weekend, who currently occupy the final Play-Off spot.
And despite being at the foot of the table back in October, the 21-year-old says there was always plenty of belief that the Lilywhites would soon be on the up and now they are taking that confidence into every game.
“We have always believed in ourselves, even when things haven’t been going our way,” he continued. “It is credit to the lads that we can actually enjoy the games.
“We have had a lot of bad luck, which has been a bit of a bad thing for us, but hopefully we can finish of the last 10 or 15 games well and, who knows, we could make the Play-Offs.
“Even if we miss out, we can be positive about how the last quarter of the season has gone. There is no pressure on us. Even if we win the next ten games, then no-one really expected us to do it, considering where we were four months ago.
“We will go into it believing we can beat any team, especially considering the last eight results we have had in the league.”
And Jordan is well aware that a win this weekend could be vital: “If we can get a good result against them, then who knows what can happen – the sky is the limit.
“They are sixth in the Play-Off spots with a game in hand. But if we beat them, we can start to look to trying to make a top six finish.
“We won’t get carried away. We will just take it game by game and if we can try and win every game and take it step by step; we can just enjoy it,” added the Yeovil-born man.