Preston North End defender Andrew Hughes says that when the players return to training next week, they will just have one thing on their mind.
The Welsh full back says that with nine games left, when the season restarts, the target the squad set themselves at the start of the season has not changed, even with the pause to the campaign.
“We have nine games and we have to try and make the most of them,” the Lilywhites’ No.16 told iFollow PNE. “Our ambitions will be exactly as they were meant to be at the start of the season and that is to get promoted and that’s what we will be trying to achieve.
“A few of the boys were talking about how many games we were unbeaten at the start of the season and if we can do that again in the remaining games, that is only going to chuck us into a really good position and hopefully that is the case.”
The former Peterborough United man says that being away from the rest of his team-mates for this extended period has been the hardest thing to deal with during the lockdown periof.
“That amount of time being away from the lads and the day to day banter is the biggest change and I can’t wait to get back in now,” he continued.
“It is not eight weeks normally. It came at a weird time, when we should have been into the business end of the season and it is just horrible, not really knowing what is going on, it has just been a guessing game.
“To have two pre-seasons in one season – I don’t think anyone would vote for that – but we just have to stay fit and when the time comes, when we are all back in, our fitness levels need to be there; that’s all we can do right now.”
And even though the games look set to be played without supporters there to back their team, the 27-year-old believes the motivation of trying to achieve something for those fans will give the side an extra boost.
“I watched the Bundesliga and it was weird seeing what changes had been made, but, ultimately, everyone’s safety is the most important thing and if we can keep everyone safe, whilst getting everyone back, then we are on to a winner.
“There should be no bigger motivation for a player than getting promoted out of the Championship, the only disappointing thing is that the fans are not going to be with us along the way, but hopefully we can reward them by getting to the Premier League,” he added.
There is more from Hughesy, including his lockdown gaming habits and his new Twitch account can be found by clicking on the video at the top of the page to watch the full interview.