Cal: That's just for starters!

Callum Robinson is enjoying being under starter's orders at Preston and thinks a regular run is helping him to develop his game.

Tuesday, 13th December 2016, 6:00 pm
Updated Wednesday, 14th December 2016, 1:48 pm
Callum Robinson celebrates Saturday's winning goal with Daniel Johnson

After being on the bench for the first two league games of the season, Robinson has started every Championship match since.

The goals have started to come, Saturday’s winner in the derby against Blackburn his third in five games.

He has five goals in total for the campaign and has his sights on plenty more over the coming months.

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Next up for Robinson and his team-mates is a City Ground clash with Nottingham Forest (7.45pm).

Then it is off to Bristol City on Saturday, a club Robinson had a less-than-successful loan spell with in the first half of last season.

Robinson told the Evening Post: “I’m enjoying myself here and getting plenty of games which isn’t easy because there are plenty of quality players pushing for places.

“I didn’t start the first two league games but I’ve started the rest since then – I’m grateful to the gaffer for giving me this chance in the Championship.

“So far I’ve got five goals this season and hopefully I can get more to reach the target I set myself at the start of the season.

“There’s been a bit of a variety with the goals I’ve scored lately, a header against Rotherham, one off my face at Sheffield Wednesday and then the shot on Saturday.

“I was really happy to score the winner in the derby against Blackburn.

“As a team, I thought we played very well and there was just a spell in the second half when Blackburn put us under some pressure.

“When they equalised, we showed great character to hit back and get the win.

“Greg Cunningham did very well for the goal, getting down the side and tucking inside.

“I was just hoping that Greg would see me, which thankfully he did.

“It was a nice pass from him and I finished it off.

“Only five minutes or so before, I had moved inside from the wing into a role in the middle.

“I was looking to be involved more in the game and gaffer saw that.

“To score was a wonderful moment and the supporters enjoyed it.”

Robinson, 21, is happy to switch between a couple of positions in the team.

In the last couple of months, there have been plenty of outings for him down the middle as a striker.

But he has also been used on the left wing too.

“I’ve no real preference – as long as I’m in the attacking third of the pitch, I’ll play anywhere,” said Robinson.

“I like getting in the box as a striker and I like running at people on the wing.

“When I play out wide, there are still opportunities to come into the box and make an impact that way.”

Robinson had three loan spells in 18 months with North End from Aston Villa. In between the second and third spells was the stint with Bristol City in which his game-time was limited.

In the summer, Robinson made the move from Villa to Deepdale on a permanent basis.

The chance of working with PNE boss Simon Grayson and his coaching staff was a big pull for the youngster. Said Robinson: “I knew that the gaffer and the coaches believed in me, which was a big thing – it made up my mind.

“I think certain managers and coaches work well with a certain player and that has happened with me.

“The gaffer here gives me a lot of confidence and if you are confident, it tends to follow that you play better. In training, some of the sessions which are put on are good for attacking players – they help get the best out of all the front players.

“I’ve worked with the gaffer here for the last two years and I know he can get the best out of me.”

Robinson hopes that Preston’s good form of late can be extended against Forest – they have lost just two of their last 12 in the league.

The win against Blackburn put them back on track after defeat to Sheffield Wednesday.

“Forest had a bad result on Sunday but they had been doing well before then,” said Robinson. “They will be trying to bounce back so we have to be aware of that.

“We’re doing well ourselves – it is only two defeats in 12, which is not bad going,

“If we can get a good result at Forest, we can take it into another difficult game against Bristol City, a club I obviously know well.”