Marnick Vermijl’s exclusive column

Preston North End's Marnick Vermijl

Preston North End's Marnick Vermijl

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In the last few weeks we have produced some good results and performances, our aim being to continue that against Ipswich Town at Deepdale this weekend.

We played very well in the Arsenal game and ran them so close, then have faced two clubs in the Championship with big reputations and big budgets.

Just looking back to the Arsenal game, that was good to play in and I think we were very unlucky not to have got a replay.

Their equaliser right after half-time killed us and then they got the winner right at the end.

Coming more up to date, in the league against Brighton, we gave a good account of ourselves and to beat the league leaders was a big result.

Yes, they had a couple of players out injured, but we had lads missing too and it was a deserved win.

Things were a bit mixed at Aston Villa last week and we came away with a draw.

They haven’t been beaten at Villa Park this season, so a 2-2 draw was decent enough.

We had a difficult time in the first half I have to admit.

Villa put us under a lot of pressure and when we did get the ball, we didn’t keep hold of it for long enough.

That invited pressure and they kept coming at us, getting through us plenty of times.

We were too far off them in all areas of the pitch, we didn’t put them under any sort of pressure.

As a result of that, we came in disappointed at half-time and a few words were said to put things right.

In the second half, we gave Aston Villa a great game in my opinion.

The aim was to start the second half quickly, keep the ball better and have a lot more attacks and shots.

In our side there is plenty of quality and that started to come through.

We were in their faces in the second half, we didn’t give them time to settle.

As a team we worked hard to get into the game and it was just a case of scoring a goal to put us right back in it.

Jordan Hugill scored that brilliant solo goal, running from the half-way line and producing a great finish into the top corner.

His turn of pace was very impressive and something we have seen from him before.

The second one was just as good in a different way.

There was good play from a corner, Aiden McGeady showed some good skill and his cross was headed in by Jordan.

It might have been a free header but Jordan still had to take it across the goalkeeper and into the corner.

What we did in the second half against Villa, we have to do in the Ipswich game from the start.

If we start well, we have every chance of picking-up the three points.

We want to keep our good run going, we want to climb the division and get nearer to the play-offs.

As a team, we will not be under-estimating Ipswich in any way.

We were beaten by them at their place just before I signed, so we don’t want to go through a repeat of that.

Talking about signing, I’m glad that this transfer window I am settled here.

In the summer window I was waiting for my move to Preston to happen and it all went through on the last day.

It had taken quite a while to happen, Preston had tried to get it done earlier but for some reason it hadn’t happened.

So to be able to sit back and watch all the speculation in this transfer window, is far nicer than being involved in it.

Every player will tell you that they try to keep up with what is happening during the transfer window.

It is only natural as this is our profession and we all know someone who might be involved in a transfer.

Just moving away from the topic of football, it is a bit of a tradition that we bring cakes to training on our birthday.

Most of the lads call in at a shop to buy cakes, so some are okay, some not.

It was my 25th birthday two weeks ago and I went down the home-made route.

My girlfriend and myself had a day off so we spent an afternoon together baking in the kitchen.

Baking is not something I normally do, I usually leave that to the missus.

But it was good fun making the cakes and they went down well with the other lads when I brought them into training.

Let’s just say that by the time we started training, all the chocolate Nutella cakes had been eaten!

A few of the other types we had made did not prove as popular with the lads which was a shame.

But I was told that if I wanted to make any more of the Nutella cakes, feel free.

Don’t expect to see me on the Great British Bake-Off or the Belgian version.

This was a one-off for my birthday and I’ll concentrate on my football rather than making cakes.

I’ll have to see if any of the other lads come up with home-made cakes.