Exclusive Callum Robinson column

I am not sure whether I will figure in new Aston Villa manager Tim Sherwood's future plans for the club
I am not sure whether I will figure in new Aston Villa manager Tim Sherwood's future plans for the club
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I cannot tell you how good it feels to be back wearing the white shirt of Preston North End.

It goes without saying that I had a great time at the club before Christmas after the gaffer Simon Grayson signed me in September on loan from my parent club Aston Villa.

After feeling my way in at first, 
the boss started to show a lot of faith in me and I began to get a run of games in the starting XI.

I like to think I repaid that faith with many of my performances and a few important goals here and there.

Obviously the hat-trick I hit against Havant and Waterlooville in the FA Cup was a highlight but I also managed to score the winner in a top-of-the-table clash away to current League One leaders Bristol City.

In many ways, I was a little disappointed when I was recalled by Villa at the end of November.

I was enjoying being part of the squad here and being among the lads – who are a great bunch – but more importantly the experience of playing on a regular basis was great for my development.

I have been at Villa since I was a kid so I was hopeful that my performances with North End may have resulted in me getting some minutes with Villa in the Premier League.

Last season, I did get on the pitch for Villa on a few occasions, including appearances against Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur at Eastlands and White Hart Lane respectively.

Unfortunately, despite making the bench several times, I did not get on the pitch this time.

It was a little bit annoying, especially as a young footballer – I am only 20-years-old – you just want to be playing games.

Hopefully, if I can continue to get game time at Preston and impress, I might get a chance when I go back under a new manager.

Tim Sherwood has replaced Paul Lambert, although I have not spoken to the new gaffer yet.

I don’t know how everything stands at the moment. I don’t know how Villa are looking at me as player, with the new manager and staff coming in.

All I can say is I love it here at Preston but I’m still only young and I think I will still have opportunities in the future at Villa.

Whether I move here permanently or leave Villa or even come back here on loan again, these are all big questions, which I can’t really answer at the moment.

As long as I’m playing games and enjoying my football, that is all that matters to me at the moment.

When I did get recalled, the manager here at Preston said to me that if it did not work out at Villa, I was always welcome to come back here.

That was obviously nice to hear and so when I did get the all-clear to go back out on loan, I did not hesitate to come back.

There were a few clubs from the Championship who were interested in me.

That was tempting because obviously it’s a higher division and would have been a good experience for me.

But most of all I was desperate to come back here and finish off what I had sort of started at Deepdale.

Hopefully, Preston will be a Championship club next season and since coming back, I seem to have brought a bit of good luck with me.

I don’t think I have been on the losing side in a league game since returning, although my first appearance was against Manchester United in the FA Cup at Deepdale. That was a little bit surreal.

Having not played for a couple of months or so, I was thrown on as a late substitute and found myself up against Wayne Rooney, Radamel Falcao and Angel di Maria.

It was also good to catch up with my old friend and United left-back Luke Shaw, who I had a chat with at the end of the game.

I played alongside Luke with England Under-16s and he was always destined to go on to great things because he was such a good player.

Although the match against United ended in defeat, it did give the lads a boost as our results since have proven.

Six wins and a draw have put us on course for automatic promotion and hopefully we can keep that going in the final 10 games of the season.

My mate Daniel Johnson, who signed permanently from Villa in January, has been on fire since he joined the club.

We have played together since the age of 14 and it’s great to be playing alongside him again.

Every game at the moment, he seems to be finishing up on the scoresheet and I’ve always known what he’s capable of.

It’s nice to have DJ at the club from a personal point of view both on and off the pitch.

We have a great understanding when we are playing and we also spend a lot of time together in our free time.

Tomorrow, we are looking to keep our good run going at Barnsley, although it’s going to be difficult because they are on a good run of form, having changed their manager recently.

I was actually saying to a few of the lads the other day that ‘Barnsley away’ even sounds tough!

But these are the games we need to pick up points in if we are going to end the season with promotion.

It promises to be an exciting finish and I am desperate to help the team achieve its goal of promotion.

Hopefully, I will notch a goal or two and hear the Preston fans once again singing ‘Here’s to you Callum Robinson...’