Exclusive Josh Harrop PNE column

Celebrating after scoring the fifth Preston goal at Wycombe
Celebrating after scoring the fifth Preston goal at Wycombe

Being on the scoresheet twice last week in our FA Cup win over Wycombe was a big moment for me.

They were two different types of goals, a free-kick at the start and then a header for our fifth.

I haven’t scored too many headers before so it was nice to get on the end of a great ball from Greg Cunningham.

The wind actually held the ball up a little bit which helped.

Greg’s cross was perfect, I didn’t have to break stride and it was a case of guiding it into the net.

The gaffer had put me up front for the last few minutes and I was trying to play as a No.9 – I’m not like Jordan Hugill in that sense though, he’s a lot bigger than me.

I’d opened the scoring very early in the game with the free-kick.

That was the third free-kick which I’ve scored for Preston and all of them have been different types.

My first came early in the season against Cardiff, that one staying low and going into the far corner.

Then I got one at home against Sunderland from the corner of the box which flew across the box.

I do practice free-kicks quite a lot, so to see one hit the net is special.

At Wycombe, Billy Bodin and myself were over the ball but it was always going to be me taking it.

It was in an area of the pitch where I had done some practice and was perfect for the way I wanted to hit it.

Scoring so early in the game gave us that head start and in some ways deflated Wycombe early doors.

It gave us the confidence to push on and get a hold of the game – it provided some steadiness in a game which could have been a banana skin.

Our attacking play was good, in the front four there was plenty of movement and interchanging.

It was Billy Bodin’s first game for us and I thought 
he did excellently on the right-hand side considering he had only trained with us for two days.

The rest of us know one another’s games very well and I thought that showed.

Wycombe was my second successive start and I want to be starting every game.

It has been a bit of a slow start for me here, being on and off the bench, but I think I’m improving and getting to grips with things.

The Championship is very different to what I was used to before coming here.

At Manchester United, it was all on the floor, very technical, about keeping the ball and moving it around.

Games aren’t really like that in the Championship, sometimes it has to be about hitting the striker and then picking-up the pieces off him.

It is about winning the right to play, the hard graft first before getting the ball down to play.

I’m getting to grips with that and enjoying it.

Every team’s goal in the Championship is ultimately to reach the Premier League.

That is one reason why it is such a tough division and why every single point has to be battled for.

At the moment we are quite well placed in that group outside the play-offs, we are in the mix.

We have got 20 important games ahead of us to try and push up a few more places.

The mentality here is that we go into every game believing we can win.

It is Millwall next for us and hopefully we can come back with a good result.

When we played them at Deepdale in September it was not the best of games. 
In many ways both teams cancelled each other out and we couldn’t break them down.

We have to learn from that game and use that to our advantage.

Personally, my move here has worked out really well.

The lads and the staff are absolutely brilliant and there is no awkwardness between anyone.

We all get on well and that is always positive to have. This was the right move for me to make as I looked to develop my career and play first-team football.

As you get a bit older, you realise that you need to start playing regularly.

That is why I made the big decision to leave United and come to Preston.

Scoring a goal on my United debut at the end of last season was a great way to sign off from there.

It was a brilliant feeling and a moment I will always remember.

After the game, Jose Mourinho was buzzing for me – that was nice.

Over the last few seasons I had trained quite a bit with the United first-team and learned a lot from that.

But I had a few injuries which got in the way. I enjoyed working with Mourinho, he was a really happy guy about the place.