A month into his Preston North End career and Scott Wiseman could not be happier with life at Deepdale.
The right-back’s move from Barnsley to North End has lived up to expectations, and a victory tomorrow against Leyton Orient would make it all the better.
“Everything has impressed me about the club, from the backroom staff to the training ground and professionalism of the place,” Wiseman told the Evening Post.
“If someone had asked me to write down my ideal scenario on paper, then I could not have asked for more.
“To come here and have all the boxes ticked both on and off the pitch for myself and my family, is fantastic.
“I have settled down well and the other lads have made me very welcome.”
The visit of Orient (3pm) is a battle of fourth versus third in the League One promotion race.
A win for North End would see them close to within two points of the Londoners, with a game in hand.
It would also keep them in touch with Brentford and Wolves, who currently fill the two automatic slots.
With 17 games remaining, Wiseman says the opportunity is there to climb up from fourth place.
“It is a case of taking it one game at a time and seeing where that takes us,” said the 28-year-old.
“There is a gap between us and the three sides above but nowhere as big as it could be.
“We have always thought that things will go right down to the wire.
“Nothing is going to be sorted for anyone straight away – it never is at this stage of the season.
“There will be a lot of twists and turns to come, and why can’t we be one of those sides which hits form towards the end of the season and comes through?”
If North End are to overhaul a couple of the sides above them over the coming months, they need some better results at home.
They have won on home soil six times in the league as opposed to nine away games.
But the signs are there that their form at Deepdale has started to turn the corner.
Since the turn of the year, they have beaten Port Vale, Ipswich and Notts County in front of the home faithful, drawn with Coventry and put up a superb fight against Nottingham Forest in a game they lost.
Said Wiseman: “The results at home have not been too bad – it has more been a case of not turning some draws into wins.
“Teams will come here and set up camp and I totally understand why they do that.
“If we were in the shoes of some sides coming to a nice stadium like Deepdale, we would do exactly the same.
“It happens throughout the divisions. Fulham did it at Old Trafford against Manchester United last week.
“Teams get behind the ball and make it difficult for the home side to break through.
“Maybe Leyton Orient will come to try and frustrate us.
“They are a very good side, as their league position shows. But they’ve lost three on the spin and will be looking to stop the rot.
“With them having a blip, it is up to us to try and capitalise on that and inflict another defeat on them.”
PNE won 1-0 at Brisbane Road in the reverse fixture in November, Joe Garner on target with a fine volley.
That came in a spell when Simon Grayson was using a three-man defence with wing-backs.
More recently, the Preston boss has tended to set his side up with a four-man back line, Wiseman slotting in at right-back.
He can also play at wing-back and in the centre of defence if called upon.
Wiseman said: “A strong point of this squad is the flexibility of the players.
“Many of the lads can play different roles in whatever formation is needed that day.
“We can be playing four at the back in a game, then in a nod of the head from the gaffer, we can go to a back three or five.”
Six weeks before joining North End, Wiseman became a full international when he played for Gibraltar in a friendly game against Slovakia.
He qualified through his mum, who was born in the British territory.
The defender has been called up for two friendlies next month, although will play in just one of them because of his Preston commitments.
“It is brilliant to be involved with Gibraltar. At the age of 28, I thought my international days were long gone,” said Wiseman.
“There are two friendlies next month but the first one clashes with our game against Walsall so I won’t be joining up until after the Walsall match. We play Estonia on the Tuesday, so it will just be a case of flying out on the Sunday after our game and returning on Wednesday.
“Mind you, my girlfriend is pregnant and if she hasn’t popped by then, I won’t be going at all.
“Gibraltar will be in the draw for the Euro 2016 qualifiers and that is going to be exciting. We are in pot nine for the draw and that will mean three big countries will be in our qualifying group.
“If we got England, that would be fantastic!
“My priority will always be playing for Preston – our games will always come first.
“I wouldn’t miss one in order to play in an international because it is Preston who pay my wages.”