Darnell Fisher is hoping for a good run in the Preston North End team following his return to competitive football in the 2-1 victory over Derby County in the second round of the Carabao Cup.
Fisher made his first start of the 2020/21 season on Tuesday evening and had a big part to play, claiming the assist for Tom Barkhuizen’s stunning equaliser before providing the cross which was handballed and led to Daniel Johnson’s winning penalty.
Speaking to iFollow PNE, Fish said: “It was frustrating again, the second pre-season I’ve missed now. I come back flying then get injured with little niggles, but it happens, I’m a footballer.
“The body will be tired tomorrow, I won’t be able to move tomorrow, but I’m all good and hopefully I can get a good run now.
“I thought we were best in the first half. The second half started and they got one chance and they scored from it, a scruffy goal defending it really, but they scored. Obviously they got the man sent off and we kind of rallied and got back in the game.
“When we played here last season they counter acted what we’d done so the manager changed it and then we got the better of them and it worked to a tee, but we just couldn’t score in the first half.
“If we’d have scored it would’ve obviously been a different game and then they got the first goal, then a man got sent off and that helped us.
“I think you’ve got to make them tired, you’ve got to move it from side to side make them keep working and then get your opening and that’s what happened. The ball came from left to right and we got the pen and Barky scored like that so it worked.”
The full back headed the ball down towards Tom Barkhuizen who hit a thunderous half volley against the underside of the crossbar and in for the equalising goal, before his cross was handballed by Lee Buchanan leaving referee Andy Davies no option but to point to the spot.
Fisher said: “I thought it was a penalty. Speaking to the full back he said it’s hit his face. I’ve not seen it back yet but I thought in real time it hit his arm so yeah I thought it was a pen, but the referee managed to give it and then obviously DJ steps up as usual and puts it in the back of the net.
“To be fair I don’t know how I got the assist [for Barkuizen’s goal], it was some strike! To be fair I heard him shout so I just tried nodding it down and obviously he’s done the rest so fair play to him.
“Then obviously the bad cross and the guy handballed it so we got a pen and then DJ scored it so yeah, buzzing.”
North End made 10 changes to their line-up this evening and several players will have given manager Alex Neil something to think about ahead of the weekend’s league game against Norwich City and next week’s third round tie against either Brighton and Hove Albion or Portsmouth.
Darnell added: “We’ll be watching that – well I know I will it’s football on tv so I’ll be watching it and seeing what they play like and looking forward to the game.
“We’ve got a good squad anyway. Two or three players play in each position here so competition is really good but you want that as a player.
“People saying ‘oh it’s too much’ but you want competition, it keeps you on your toes and the other player makes you better, you make him better and vice versa.
“If you can’t learn off the other players then you’re in the wrong game.”
Hear more from Darnell in his full interview in the video above.