Preston North End right back Darnell Fisher got his first run out of pre-season in Tuesday night’s game with Accrington Stanley at the County Ground.
The No.2 came on for the last half hour of the 1-1 draw with John Coleman’s side at the LFA Headquarters and he told iFollow PNE he enjoyed pulling on his match boots.
“It is good to be back,” said the Reading-born defender. “I had a little operation, but it is good and I’m buzzing to be back.
“I got the hardest but of pre-season out of the way – the running – and when the games started, that’s when I got the operation and I didn’t go to Ireland, but now it is about catch up.
“Getting minutes on Tuesday was good. Usually it is a three to four-week injury, but I managed to get back quickly.
“I have been doing a lot of running with Tom Little, which is not pleasant. I am not good at running at the best of times, let alone in this heat!”
With two games over 48 hours this weekend, Darnell sees it as another opportunity to build up his match sharpness: “Getting minutes on Tuesday [against Accrington Stanley] was a big bonus and hopefully I will add to that on Friday or Saturday and then it is just a week until the season starts,” he continued.
“It felt good to be back and the body felt good as well. You can train all pre-season, but playing a match, you realise that it is different.
“Fleetwood will be good; they are very good. We played them in my first ever pre-season game and it will be a good test. Then Newcastle is a different sort of test, they will have more of the ball and want to play, but they are two good games that you want to play in and with a week to go until the season starts, everyone will want to get in and earn a place in the team.”
His first game of the summer became quite a keenly contested game on Tuesday night and he is expecting more of the same in the first few weeks of the season.
“With [Ryan] Ledson playing, there will always be a bit of bite to a game! I don’t mind those games, I enjoy games when they are a bit physical, that’s a bit of me, but I was disappointed to miss the Southampton game.
“That was a game I would have liked to have played in and I was looking forward to when the fixtures came out, but I was pleased to get back for the Accrington game.
“The first three games are very different. Millwall will be physical and then we have the derby against Wigan, so hopefully that will be a bit physical – derby games should be like that – and then Bradford will be another test; they are all good games to play in.
“The Millwall game was key, when we were looking to push on to get in the Play-Offs – it was a big win – but the Wigan game was a big one. It was 4-1, I think, the crowd came out and it was a good game to play in.
“Hopefully it is not as hot as it currently is, but we want to sun to come out and the fans to come out and get behind us,” he added.