Preston North End centre half Ben Davies returned from injury last weekend and thoroughly enjoyed being back out on the pitch.
The Lilywhites’ No.6 missed four games with a hamstring injury, but returned for the crushing win over Steve McClaren’s Queens Park Rangers at Loftus Road and when he spoke to iFollowPNE at Springfields this week, he admitted he was happy to get away from watching football, rather than playing.
“It felt brilliant to be back,” said the 23-year-old. “I said to Alan [Browne] before the game that ‘the excitement is real’, because after missing a few weeks you get that buzz and there is nothing better than being involved in a matchday and playing for your club.
“After being at home and watching Gillette Soccer Saturday for a few weeks, that was enough for me and I am delighted to be back and it was a perfect away day.
“We did well last weekend. We knew it would be a difficult place to go, we hadn’t won in a few games and our away form hasn’t been as good as we would like it to be this year, but we started the game really well.
“The gaffer got us up for it before the game, we were at it from the start, we ran all over them and we deserved it.
“We kept getting in behind them. We have Alan and Brad who can run all day and have lots of energy. I think the gaffer looked at the opening game of the season where we caused them problems and put that plan into the game and it worked perfectly.
“We had already got the upper hand before they realised how to fix the problem and then when they did, it allowed us to control the ball a bit more and we moved it around well. We scored at good times and in the end it was comfortable.”
Ben got the assist for defensive partner Jordan Storey’s first goal for the club and he is delighted with the development of their partnership at the heart of the PNE backline.
“I just got up and tried to get something on the ball to help it on,” he continued. “I didn’t really see it go in; but the ball nestled in the top corner and when I saw it was Jordan wheeling away, I was really happy for him.
“I have seen a replay of it now and he gets a really good connection on it and arrows it into the net, which is great for him.
“I feel like Jordan is developing really well as a player. He is going to be a top, top player and I feel comfortable playing with him. I trust him, which is a good start.
“I have to lead a bit more. We have a pretty experienced back four – me and Jordan are probably the least experienced, but we can all chip in and play our parts – which is what we like doing.”
And that partnership must develop again this weekend against another difficult test, in the Potteries: “We know [Stoke City] have a good squad.
“It was a difficult game at home and going to their place will be tough, but we have just had a great result on the road and there is no reason why we can’t perform well and get more points this weekend,” he added.