Exclusive Jordan Hugill PNE column

It is great to see Jermaine Beckford back in a Preston North End shirt after his injury and having him available as we look to finish the season strongly can only benefit us.

It is great to see Jermaine Beckford back in a Preston North End shirt after his injury and having him available as we look to finish the season strongly can only benefit us.

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It is great to see Jermaine Beckford back in a Preston North End shirt after his injury and having him available as we look to finish the season strongly can only benefit us.

Becks had the same kind of knee injury and operation that I went through last season.

So if there have been a few times when he’s needed a bit of a lift or reassurance, I have tried to give it.

When you are doing your rehabilitation work in the gym, you get aches, pains and discomfort.

When Becks was feeling a bit sore, I was able to tell him that it was exactly what happened to me and it was completely normal.

Last week against MK Dons, we saw him do what he does best, running through and beating the keeper with so much confidence.

He did that so well last season and he has been missed.

I have been back in the squad for the last two games as a substitute, having missed the visit to Middlesbrough with an ankle injury.

In the second half against Fulham, I went over on my ankle and had to come off.

With Middlesbrough being the next game – the club I supported as a boy – I did everything I could to try and get fit.

I only had a few days to do that and unfortunately I wasn’t right in the end – I was absolutely devastated.

Almost every available second between the Tuesday night and Saturday morning, I had ice on the ankle to get the swelling down.

I even borrowed a machine which Bailey Wright has to help treat injuries.

In the end, our physio Matt Jackson had to tell me before the game that if I played and suffered a reoccurrence, I could miss the rest of the season.

That was not a risk which Jacko or myself wanted to take.

Thankfully I’ve got myself fit and hopefully can have some involvement against Burnley.

Before hurting my ankle, I had enjoyed a little run in the team and scored in the derbies at Bolton and Blackburn.

It would be lovely to get a third derby goal in the Burnley game.

Looking back at those goals, obviously the one at Blackburn was the more classy of the two.

It was a good volley while the Bolton goal was more a case of throwing myself at the ball and getting my head to it.

They all count though, it doesn’t matter how they go in as long as the ball ends up in the back of the net.

Our game against Burnley will obviously have a bearing on what happens at the top of the Championship.

They are pushing for automatic promotion, together with Brighton and Middlesbrough.

With myself being a Boro fan and Adam Reach on loan from them, we could end up with a lot of friends from up there.

I’ve had a few tweets from Middlesbrough fans wishing us luck.

Our focus is on what we do, trying to get three points and strengthen our position.

How it affects other clubs is secondary.

From a personal point of view, I have really enjoyed this first season in the Championship.

This time last year, I was on loan at Hartlepool in League Two and battling to stay in the Football League.

Being at Hartlepool was a brilliant experience.

I had been out with the knee injury and went on loan to help get my match fitness back.

I scored a few goals and it was brilliant that Hartlepool stayed up.

Having only played a few games for Preston in League One last season, I then found myself in the Championship.

It has been a brilliant learning curve, getting appearances under my belt and recently scoring a couple of goals.

These last few months have given me the confidence that I can be a Championship player.

I feel that my game can only get better and hopefully that progress can continue next season.

As the season has gone on, I have found that I can cope with defenders better and my hold-up play had really improved.

I’ve got stronger in the air and my overall game has come on so much. In the last month or so, I’ve scored the goals against Bolton and Blackburn – it is, after all, scoring goals which strikers are mainly judged on.

The more games I play, the more confidence I will get, so it is up to me to train well and then take my chance in the team, whether that be starting or coming off the bench.

The better I do, the more I will hopefully play, although that is up to the gaffer.

My aim is to try and get some more game-time – and a goal or two – in these last three matches which will set me up for next season.