After a few weeks sidelined with injury, Ali McCann said he’s “buzzing” to be back involved ahead of Wednesday’s cup tie against Liverpool.
The midfielder, signed from St Johnstone on deadline day, was forced off with an ankle injury just 25 minutes in to the away trip to Queens Park Rangers – his first Championship start for the club.
“It was disappointing,” said Ali. “Obviously working my way in, making a fair few sub appearances and then starting the Cheltenham game, I thought I was getting myself involved.
“Then I got the call to start away at QPR and obviously it didn’t start too well, we went a goal down and then after 20 minutes I got taken off with an injury which was really disappointing for myself.
“But that sort of thing happens, there’s nothing you can do about that and I’ve got myself right. I’ve had a tough few weeks of rehab and I’m just buzzing to get involved.”
Ali will be hoping he can carry his previous cup success over to PNE, having secured a superb cup double with St Johnstone last season.
The midfielder played pivotal roles in both Scottish Cup and Scottish League Cup victories, and he’s now looking forward to playing a team the size of Liverpool.
He said: “Last year it was crazy the cup runs we had at St Johnstone. We had a few big ties, like we beat Rangers away in the quarter-final of the Scottish Cup, so if we can repeat a similar feat against a huge club and a great team that is Liverpool, then it would be incredible for the club and for the fans and us as players. It’s just something that we’re all buzzing to get in to.
“When I came [to PNE] I couldn’t have expected to play Liverpool in the first sort of three months, but it’s that type of thing. There’s always a chance.
“When you see the draw after the Cheltenham game you’re just hoping in the back of your mind we could get drawn against a team like this and it’s unreal to be involved in.
“I just hope it’s a good night for everyone involved with the club and hopefully we can put a show on and give a good account of ourselves. We know it’s going to be a really tough task but we’re going to give it our all.”
North End will have the backing of a completely sold out Deepdale, and Ali feels that support could spur the side on under the lights.
He added: “The fans have been turning out. Even the Derby game last week was a great turnout so hopefully we can sell as much as we can and get fans behind us.
“Us as players, that’s what we feed off. You can feel the fans behind you and it inspires you to give a bit more.
“We just hope we can repay their dedication for coming out in their numbers and putting on a good show for them.”
Hear more from Ali in his full interview on iFollow PNE.