Bailey Wright is back from a ban – and back from the Middle East – ready to try and help Preston North End climb the Championship table.
The Australian looks set to return to the heart of PNE’s defence against Cardiff at Deepdale today.
He missed the last game at Sheffield Wednesday before the international break through suspension.
That was the legacy of a red card in the eventful clash with Wolves three weeks ago in which Joe Garner was also sent off.
In the meantime, Wright added another Australia cap to his collection, playing in the Socceroos’ 2-0 defeat to Jordan in a World Cup qualifier.
Wright told the Evening Post: “There was just the one international game this time, normally it is two.
“It was a short and sharp trip if you could call a journey to Jordan that.
“In terms of the result it wasn’t great but it was another game for my country, which was a great experience.
“It seems quite a while since I played for Preston because of the suspension.
“I’m still a bit bitter about the sending off and I never like missing games, especially because of a ban.
“What was more frustrating is that you cannot appeal two yellow cards.
“I didn’t feel it was a sending off – neither did a lot of people. But there was nothing we could do about it so it was a case of sitting out a game.
“We’ve got a big game against Cardiff now.
“They have got a good squad, as most do in this division, and are a club who quite recently were in the Premier League.
“It will be a tough test but they are coming on our turf and we will give this a good go.
“We have been working on a few things which we feel we need to do to improve and get on track.
“In the next three weeks there are six games before the next international break.
“That is a lot of football but is the way we prefer things.”
Wright’s likely return today will be a step in the right direction in terms of Simon Grayson being able to name a settled side.
The PNE manager has had injuries, suspensions and ineligibility to deal with in recent weeks.
Paul Huntington and Paul Gallagher have both missed games through injury, with loan defender Paddy McCarthy adding his name to the casualty list.
There have been the bans for Wright and Garner, with Garner having another two games to serve.
Eoin Doyle cannot face parent club Cardiff, with Marnick Vermijl having been in the same boat for the Sheffield Wednesday game.
Said Grayson: “It will be nice when we get out of this run where players are missing for different reasons.
“It will give us the chance to get a settled team together. We have got Joe and Eoin missing against Cardiff but Huntington could be available.”