Kyel Reid is keen to repay the work which the Preston coaching and medical staff have done to get him firing on all cylinders again after major knee surgery.
The winger has been in PNE’s first-team squad over the last few weeks, supporters getting brief glimpses during three substitute appearances of the talent which persuaded the Lilywhites to take a punt on him in the summer.
He was still at the rehabilitation stage following surgery to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee when he moved to Deepdale on a Bosman in July.
There could have been the temptation for him to get further down the road to recovery before North End made their move.
Having worked with Reid previously, both Simon Grayson and Glynn Snodin knew what they were getting.
And on the medical side of things, PNE had some inside knowledge of his recovery from a former member of staff.
Bearing all that in mind, Reid wants to be back in the thick of the action and producing performances to help keep Preston right up there in the promotion frame.
Reid said: “Preston have shown a great deal of faith in me and for that I am so grateful.
“When I get my chance on the pitch I will aim to repay that and show the fans why the gaffer wanted me here.
“I signed when I was injured and just getting to a point where I could do some pre-season work.
“It was more than a great feeling to know that a big club like Preston were interested in me even though I could not play straight away.
“Some of my friends in the game are not injured but still haven’t got a club, so I’m very thankful to the gaffer, Glynn Snodin and all the staff here.
“What helped me in coming here was that the physio at my last club Bradford, Matt Barrass, used to work here at Preston.
“He knows our physio Matt Jackson very well, so Jacko was able to do his homework on my injury and knew exactly where I was up to in my recovery.
“By the time I came here to have my medical, Jacko knew what his plans were for me and what I would need to do to get fit.
“A big thing about signing for Preston was working with staff who I already knew. Glynn Snodin and myself go back to my West Ham days when he was with Alan Curbishley.
“I really like Snods and have a lot of time for him. He gave me a call at the end of last season to say that Preston were interested.
“Also I knew the gaffer from when I went on loan from West Ham to Blackpool.”
It has been a long trudge back to fitness for 26-year-old Reid – he suffered the knee injury at the end of January playing for Bradford.
He has pulled on the North End shirt three times now, coming on as a sub in the games against Shrewsbury, Chesterfield and Coventry.
In the Coventry game, Reid was introduced to the action after 72 minutes and he certainly looked lively in his longest appearance to date.
He has been doing extra work after training with Grayson and Snodin, in terms of what they want from him on the pitch.
And the additional sessions in the gym will be an ongoing feature in order to keep his knee strong.
Said Reid: “The knee is solid and strong inside. What I have to do is keep on top of the strength work.
“The key is to keep the muscles around the knee strong – the quads, calf and glute muscles.
“I have to use the muscles more, rather than over-work the knee…let the muscles take the strain.
“That means plenty of work in the gym and not worrying about the knee in a game.
“I’ve been staying behind to do extra work on the pitch with Snods and the gaffer, learning what they expect from me.
“Also I do power work with the fitness coach Tom Little to get that extra speed and power in my legs.
“In terms of getting back into the team, it is a steady approach.
“I’m like any footballer in that I want to be starting games but I also realise that I’ve been out for a long time and I have to wait for my chance.
“I’ve been buzzing in terms of being on the bench and getting on the pitch as a substitute.
“I won’t rush. I’ll wait for my chance and when that comes I will be determined to take it.”
Sturday’s home game with Colchester has a bit of extra spice for Reid, the Essex town having been the place he called home for quite a while.
“My mum lives in Colchester and I lived there for six years when I was with West Ham,” said Reid.
“They have been doing well in the last few games but hopefully it is us coming out on top.
“Their top scorer Freddie Sears is a friend of mine – we were at West Ham together.
“I was a couple of years older than Freddie and he broke into the West Ham team a short time after me.
“I was actually on the bench the day in which Freddie scored his first West Ham goal against Blackburn.
“We will be going into this game on the back of two good wins against Crawley and Coventry.
“I thought we played really well at Coventry last week and another clean sheet under our belts was a big bonus.”