Exclusive Jordan Hugill PNE column

Jordan Hugill gets away from Ipswich Town's Tommy Smith
Jordan Hugill gets away from Ipswich Town's Tommy Smith
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It seems ages since we last played so it will be great to be back in action when Barnsley come to Deepdale this weekend.

We have got to the end of the first international break of the season but obviously there are two more to come in October and November.

Clubs use the fortnight’s break in action in different ways.

Here, we had a few tough sessions mixed in with a bit of time off.

It is about getting the balance right, making sure we do the work but also getting the right amount of rest.

We would all much rather be playing than having these international breaks, but they are part of the football calendar and something we are used to now.

Our last performance and result at Ipswich was very disappointing and it would have been good to have had a game straight away to put things right.

Instead, we had the break so we have worked in training on the things we weren’t happy with.

Hopefully what we have done will show on the pitch against Barnsley.

I came on as a substitute early in the Ipswich game when Jermaine Beckford was injured.

It was inside the first 15 minutes when I got on and in terms of the Championship, it was my longest time on the pitch this season.

As a substitute, you don’t expect to get on so soon, but you have to be ready, whether it is the 15th minute or the 88th minute.

I was happy to come on and play but sad at the same time for Jermaine – you don’t like to see any player get an injury,

The squad is like a family and we stick together, even though we are all in competition for places.

If my chance comes again, hopefully I can take it and build on what I have done so far this season and last.

There are obviously a few of us competing for positions up front, although there is one fewer after Joe Garner left.

The gaffer has told me many times that I will get my chance and it is all about being ready for when that call comes.

When I have played, either starting or as a substitute, I think I’ve done quite well. I scored against Oldham in the cup, which got me off the mark in terms of goals.

During the break, there was the transfer deadline and it was quite busy here with three signings made.

Marnick Vermijl has come back and clearly he could not stay away! We suspected for most of the summer that he would be back at some stage.

With Calum Woods’ injury, we needed someone in that area of the pitch.

Marnick is a good fit, he knows the club and the lads and is good around the place.

Most importantly, he is a good player who strengthens the squad.

Alex Baptiste is a good lad who has spent the last week or so settling in.

You can see in training that he is a hard worker,
 something which the gaffer always looks for when he brings players in.

We met Aiden McGeady for the first time on Thursday morning, as he signed while he was away on international duty.

I have heard a lot of good things about him and he is a big name coming in from the Premier League.

It is a big statement from the club to have signed him.

We need a player like that who can take a game by the scruff of neck, do something a bit special – whether that is a great cross to someone or putting the ball into the top corner.

Aiden has played at the highest level in Scotland, Russia and England, and we will benefit from having him here.

This transfer window saw a huge amount of money spent by clubs in England.

While I’m not sure of the exact figure, I saw that clubs in the Championship spent more than the top division in France. It is absolutely mad the amount of money being thrown around.

The big question is whether the bigger transfer fees mean more quality?

Sometimes you pay for what you are getting and I’m sure some of the big-money signings up and down the country will live up to their price tag.

With some players, clubs know they are guaranteed a good return.

Others can be more of a gamble.

The Barnsley game is the start of a busy schedule for us, with seven matches before the next international break.

We need to get back to winning ways, especially at home. In the League Cup, we have won twice at Deepdale this season, but in the Championship it is quite a while since we have had a victory.

We have got back-to-back home games and hopefully we can take full advantage of them.

We are not far off being at the level we want to be.

Three weeks ago at Queens Park Rangers, we showed what we are capable of with a great win – it was fully deserved.

We fell below that level at Ipswich and we have been working hard in the last two weeks to put that right.