Callum Robinson admits his time with Preston North End last season consisted of two loan spells of contrasting standards.
The 20-year-old signed up for a third loan stay this week and was in the squad for today’s FA Cup clash with Peterborough.
He spent two months at Deepdale in the first half of last season before being recalled by Aston Villa. North End got Robinson back last February, and he stayed until after the play-off semi-finals.
The youngster regards the first spell as his best and says it is the performances he produced then which need replicating this time.
Robinson told the Evening Post: “When I first signed for Preston, I had to quickly get up to speed and the gaffer did a great job with me.
“I went back to Villa and got an injury, which I was coming back from when I signed for the second time.
“No excuses though, I just think my first loan was better than the second.
“But even in the second spell, I got a few assists and scored the goals against MK Dons and Gillingham.”
Robinson comes to North End on the back of an ill-fated loan spell at Bristol City, the next league opponents on Tuesday night.
Limited to just two starts and five appearances off the bench, things did not work out the way he wanted.
PNE boss Simon Grayson feels the system favoured by the Ashton Gate club was never going to suit Robinson’s game.
The player himself is willing to put it down to experience.
Said Robinson: “All clubs are different, not every one is going to be the right fit for you.
“It didn’t work out in the end but it was good experience and I’m stronger for it. I’m not going to say I regretted going there because it could have worked out.
“It did get frustrating though, because I wanted to be involved in games.
“We are down there on Tuesday, it is funny how things pan out like that.”
While Grayson had kept an eye on his situation in the West Country, there had not been the need to make moves to sign Robinson until this week.
Grayson said: “If you had asked a month ago was Callum on our radar, I would have said he was on the radar but was not a player we needed.
“That was bearing in mind we had Stevie May available and Will Keane was with us.
“Those options have since been reduced and it became an area we needed to recruit in.”
Meanwhile, Grayson hopes to have his No.2 Glynn Snodin back at his side soon.
Illness has kept Snodin away from work in recent weeks but he is on the mend.
Said Grayson: “Snods has had some health issues which are more or less resolved. I’m sure he will be back soon.”
North End winger Kyel Reid has extended his loan stay at Bradford City until the end of the season.
It effectively ends his stay with PNE – he is out of contract at Deepdale in the summer.
Reid joined the Bantams on an emergency loan in October and has made 15 appearances for them.
It was from Bradford who North End signed Reid in the summer of 2014.