Exclusive Andy Little column

I'm relieved to have put my injury problems behind me
I'm relieved to have put my injury problems behind me
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It has come as a relief more than anything that I’m back fit and feeling like part of the Preston squad again.

On a personal level it got very frustrating being sat watching the home games and not travelling to the away matches.

I was getting back from one injury and something else would go – that was annoying to say the least.

It got to the stage where I felt a little bit embarrassed because I was desperate to make a good impression on my team-mates, on the fans and on the manager.

But sometimes to have to accept that injuries will happen and they are very much out of your control.

If there has been one thing I’ve been guilty of this season, it is being too eager to get back into training.

That is understandable though, when you’ve been sitting in the gym and physio’s room for a while and then you get the chance to go and train, you take that opportunity.

Maybe a couple of times I have done that when not quite ready and I have learned my lesson.

Things have been better lately, I’ve got minutes as a substitute in three of the last four games and it feels good to be back involved.

This Preston squad is a brilliant one to be part of because of the great team spirit we’ve got and how we are doing in the league.

The manager looks after us well, keeping everyone together and whether you are starting games, on the bench or sat in the stands, there is a togetherness among the lads.

From a personal point of view, it just feels good to be getting a few minutes here and there, whenever the manager chooses to use me. Ideally, every player wants to start games 
and I’m no different in that 
respect.

But I have the good sense to realise that a lot of the lads have been in there all season long, played most games and have been fit all the time.

They deserve to have their place in the team bearing that in mind and the run that we are on.

I would not expect to walk back into the team, instead I’ll use any time that I get on the pitch to try and show what I’m all about.

Training this week has of course been all about the build-up to our game with Bristol City at Deepdale.

It is a second-versus-first clash and has all the makings of being a really good game.

I don’t think City are out of our sights yet, certainly not.

People talk about promotion and second place but in the back of our minds, we would like to try and win the division.

If we genuinely want to be champions, this is a game we have to go out and win – it is massive.

Our form at the moment is 
good and we will go into it with confidence.

At the same time we will give our full respect to Bristol City because they have been ever so strong.

Away from training and the games, moving house has been keeping my busy just lately.

I have moved four or five times since I signed for North End but I’ve brought a house now and put down some roots.

Before coming here, I was at Rangers for a long time and felt very settled in Glasgow.

When I came down to Preston, I was in a hotel for a month, then in a flat in Manchester for two months, before moving into an apartment locally.

I’ve now got my own house and one of my neighbours is Bailey Wright.

We have been doing some work on our gardens in the last few days – I’ve been digging some drains.

Bailey has all the tools and I’ve got some strength behind me, so we’re making decent progress.

But if there are any landscape gardeners out there who fancy giving us a hand, we wouldn’t say no!

I’m a bit worried because Bailey’s living room looks directly into my bedroom window, which could become a bit of an issue!

I’ve no blinds or curtains up yet, so there are a few towels hung up in the windows for some privacy.

Paul Huntington lives in the area too, so we have got a car school going.

Buying a house here and putting the injuries behind me will hopefully be the start of better things.

Despite the injuries, I have loved being a Preston player.

I want to make the most of any chances I get at the end of this season and then be ready to hit the ground running next season.

As you will probably know, I’m keen on golf and like to play it when the opportunity arises.

Back home in Northern Ireland I played as a kid against Rory McIlroy.

At the moment, McIlroy is playing at The Masters in Augusta and there is massive pressure on him to win it.

I think it might help him that Tiger Woods is taking part because that will take some of the focus off him. McIlroy will win The Masters, whether it is this year, next year or beyond that.