Vermijl’s back on track

Marnick Vermijl almost scored a later equaliser on Saturday

Marnick Vermijl almost scored a later equaliser on Saturday

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Marnick Vermijl is looking to make up for lost time after being sidelined by injury from the Preston team.

The Belgium returned to action as a late substitute in last Saturday’s 2-1 defeat to Newcastle but almost rescued a point for PNE.

His overhead kick in the dying seconds of added-on time hit the post, moments after Jermaine Beckford had seen a penalty claim rejected.

A hamstring injury had kept Vermijl out for five weeks, his brief appearance against the Magpies the first step in an attempt to force his way back into the reckoning.

“It was just nice to be back out there after being injured,” Vermijl told the Evening Post.

“The injury happened at Brentford and it probably took a bit longer to recover than had been expected.

“I had a little bit of a setback in the middle of the recovery which can happen.

“Now I feel fine – I had trained fully for four or five days before Newcastle.

“We had an in-house game in training on Tuesday which was good for fitness levels.

“There is the international break coming up which I’ll use to get plenty of work done.

“I would prefer it if things had stayed how they were in terms of games being Saturday, Tuesday and Saturday again.

“When there is a run of games you get the chance to really get your match-fitness.

“The games are spread out more over the next month.”

Vermijl counted himself unlucky not to have equalised in the Newcastle game.

On as an 87th-minute sub for Callum Robinson, the game was in the 10th minute of stoppage time when PNE had one last effort.

Said Vermijl: “I saw the ball coming and my body was already turned halfway.

“The ball was a bit behind me but it came up nicely to hit.

“I couldn’t have shot in any other way other than with an overhead kick.

“Two or three inches the other way and it would have been a goal – that was very frustrating.

“We did really well in that game, limited Newcastle to a couple of good chances.

“It was a good atmosphere inside the ground and we all enjoyed that.”

North End face Rotherham at the New York Stadium on Saturday, the Millers currently rooted to the foot of the table.

With their previous four games having come against sides in the top four, the level of expectancy changes for Simon Grayson’s men.

Vermijl said: “Rotherham will be fighting for the points so we know what to expect.

“We have to work very hard, knowing the expectancy is on us more than in some of the games recently.

“On Saturday we will have to be organised and be ready to take the game to them.”

Meanwhile, PNE winger Aiden McGeady has been named in the Republic of Ireland squad for their World Cup qualifier against Austria in Vienna.

On-loan McGeady returned to training last week after a hamstring injury.