Preston North End midfielder Brad Potts believes he was playing catch up in the first month of the season after injury curtailed his preparations for the campaign.
The January transfer window recruit missed a big chunk of pre-season through injury and feels that he will only get better with more game time.
Speaking to iFollow PNE on the players’ return to Springfields after the international break he said: “Getting back to full match fitness, you only get back to that through playing games and being honest with myself, I have had a slow start.
“That is possibly down to missing parts of pre-season and getting back to full fitness. I want to put that behind me and kick on from here.
“It was always going to take me time to get back to where I wanted to be. I missed a lot of the end of last season and I thought I would come back ready to go, but things weren’t quite right, so I did miss a few weeks and that put me back.
“Now, I just have to try and train hard, get my fitness through that and then when I am out on the pitch, build my match fitness up. My knee feels good now; I just need to play more games, which is the only way to get up to full match fitness.”
The 25-year-old will look to continue that return to full effectiveness against Brentford this weekend, as Thomas Frank’s side visit Deepdale and for the former Barnsley man, he is expecting to meet up with a familiar face amongst the Bees contingent and is also envisaging a tough game.
“Every time I have played Brentford, even when I was in League One, they have always tried to dominate the ball.
“It will be a good game in that sense, because we like to pass the ball around as well, so I am sure it will be competitive.
“They signed big Ethan Pinnock in the summer, who did really well at Barnsley and fully deserved his move as he was outstanding last season and I will look forward to going up against him.
“They have made a few changes in defence and Pontus Janssen and Pinnock are both big lads who bring a lot of presence to their team and I am sure our gaffer will be working this week to see how we can affect the game.”
And with the break now behind them, the squad are fully focussed on a return to league action and looking forward to the prospect of playing in front of a bumper crowd as well on Saturday.
“We have had our time off and all the lads know that this week we have to be working hard to try and get the three points.
“It is good the club have done something with regards to linking the Manchester City tickets to this game and there is no reason if we put on a good performance that the people who come shouldn’t then be at the next one as well,” he added.