Brad Potts hoping for normality at Preston North End as he opens up on turbulent 12 months

Brad Potts is hoping for a less eventful season for him personally this time around, as he opens up on an up-and-down 12 months in his Preston North End career.

By Tom Sandells
Thursday, 7th July 2022, 6:00 am
Updated Thursday, 7th July 2022, 9:24 am

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Potts started last season under Frankie McAvoy, in his first season in charge permanently, but could not force his way into the starting XI. When he did play, he was often used as a striker, an unfamiliar position to him.

The 28-year-old struggled for form, as did North End, and it culminated in Potts hearing cheers when his number was displayed to be substituted in what turned out to be his final game under McAvoy against Nottingham Forest, a 3-0 defeat in November.

Brad Potts is now all smiles at PNE.

Ryan Lowe was appointed and PNE won their first game under him.

They won their second game under Lowe, another month later.

Potts scored in that second game, a 2-1 win at Stoke City, where the scenes of the now wing-back celebrating were revisited for the rest of the campaign.

In the shots of him wheeling away after rifling a scissor-kick volley into the roof of the net, you could see the emotion pour out of Potts after a trying time on the pitch.

Potts lets it all out after netting against Stoke City.

It went a long way to repairing a strained relationship with the Lilywhites’ faithful, who has lost a bit of trust in Potts’ ability.

He was revitalised by Lowe in the right wing-back position, his willingness to run helping him out massively as well as his diligence in defence.

Now with the backing of the manager, and the supporters, North End’s No.44 is looking to step it up again this season.

He told the Lancashire Post: “I'm hoping it's a bit more normal! It was tough until the manager came in, he gave me confidence and believe in me and I think the fans started believing in me to be honest.

"That helps me massively when I'm on the pitch. I was stuck in a rut before and I couldn't get out of it.

"I was playing with zero confidence, which no player can go out there with really, but it was up to me to change it.

"I was happy with how the last six months went but I want to push on from here.”

The mental toll the 2021/22 season took on Potts is not lost on him.

He was not enjoying his time on the pitch and was not looking forward to playing again, and speaking to the Lancashire Post in February he also admitted he considered his future at the club.

Now, however, things couldn’t be more different.

He said: “When you look at the top level, the players are only human beings and things are going to affect them. The best thing was a fresh start and even a change of position.

"I was happy with how things went and just want it to continue. It was quite a good feeling looking forward to games where in the past I wasn't really looking forward to it to be honest.

"In the end I was genuinely wanting to go on the pitch and play, whereas beforehand it was the total opposite.”