PNE new boy has one eye on play-offs
New boy Liam Grimshaw is hoping he can return to full fitness just in time to help Preston make a late charge towards the play-offs.
The 21-year-old utility player has yet to make his debut for the Lilywhites after undergoing a minor operation on his knee shortly after signing from Manchester United last month.
Grimshaw is beginning to step up his recovery, but it is expected to be around another month before he is ready to return to action.
Judging by the way his new team-mates are performing at the moment, the former Red Devils player faces a battle to force his way into manager Simon Grayson’s plans.
North End have won five and drawn two of their last eight league games – most recently defeating Wolves at Molineux 2-1 on Saturday.
The great run has pushed them up to 11th in the Championship table – 14 points above the relegation zone and only nine points shy of Derby County, who occupy the final play-off spot.
While finishing inside the top six is still very much an outside bet as far as North End are concerned, Grimshaw sees no reason why his team-mates should not aim high.
“Recently, the lads have been in a really rich vein of form,” he said.
“I think this season is about giving it your best shot and seeing where it takes you and then building on it for next season.
“But everyone in the squad is always aiming to do better.
“You never know – a really good run of form between now and the end of the season, we could end up in the play-offs.
“I think the lads are just taking it one game at a time and looking to do their best in every match.
“My aim is just to try to get in the team when I’m fit and do my best for the side.”
Lancashire lad Grimshaw, who hails from Burnley, never made a senior appearance for United despite spending more than decade attached to the club.
He cut his teeth in the SPL with Motherwell during the first half of this season and made 16 appearances in total.
A member of the team which defeated Celtic 2-1 away from home in January, ’Well manager Mark McGhee was keen to extend the youngster’s stay north of the border.
Grimshaw admits he would have happily stayed at Fir Park but could not turn down the opportunity of moving to Deepdale.
“I really enjoyed it at Motherwell,” he said. “I settled really quickly.
“It’s quite a similar way of life. The fans love their football up there, like they do in the North West of England – they are both football hotbeds.
“The fans and the people at the club were brilliant up there. I would definitely recommend trying the SPL out to any other young lads – especially playing for a club like Motherwell.
“It’s a good league and I think it would improve anybody who goes and plays in it.
“We actually beat Celtic at Celtic Park, which was brilliant and I played at Pittodrie when we faced Aberdeen.
“Obviously Rangers are in the division below so I never got to play at Ibrox.
“It will be a good, competitive league next season, because Rangers and Hibs look like they are going to get promoted.”