Preston North End exclusive player column: Greg Cunningham on PNE's high-intensity approach under Ryan Lowe

Being back in the team and playing regularly has been really good over the last few weeks.

By Greg Cunningham
Friday, 4th February 2022, 8:00 am

When you aren’t playing it gets frustrating and that was the way it was for me – you just want to be part of it.

It’s been really pleasing that since the manager came in, he’s given me that opportunity to play. I try and do whatever I can for the team and I’m grateful for the opportunity.

I’ve played both in the middle and at left wing-back, wherever I’m asked to play I will do whatever I can.

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Preston North End defender Greg Cunningham tussles with Millwall's Danny McNamara

I know both roles well and it’s about my performances being up to scratch and on a consistent level.

Fitness-wise I feel very good and the manager has injected a lot of intensity, tempo and pace into everything we do.

Our physical numbers in games are coming in a lot higher and that gives us the opportunity to go and win games.

So far results have been good under the manager and we want to move thing forward a couple more steps so that we can climb the table.

The intensity I talk about which the manager wants, is something we have all bought into.

All managers have different methods and it is up to the players to get on board otherwise you won’t be around for too long.

At the moment, matches are coming every few days for us. The Championship is generally regarded as being relentless but with the postponements we had and having to catch up, the schedule has been very busy.

I think we’ve just done our third week of Saturday-Tuesday and we’ve got another midweek game on Wednesday.

All players love the games but at the moment it is literally a case of play, recover and go again.

What is important during a schedule like this is what you do outside of football in between games.

After we played at Millwall on Tuesday night, we didn’t get back until well into the early hours.

That meant Wednesday was a bit of a write-off. It was just a case of sleeping, eating the right food and stretching your legs.

They are the basics, then there are other things you try to do to get that extra bit of recovery whether it is an ice bath or a massage.

What you aim to do is get the previous game out of your system so you are in good shape for training to start preparing for the next match.

Away from football, my life has changed a lot with me becoming a dad to a beautiful little girl.

She is almost four months now and growing at such a rate of knots.

Has it changed me? In a way it has. Being a father is the best feeling I have known. What is amazing is that unconditional love you feel for someone.

I’m pleased to report that she sleeps well, we’ve had no problems with that and, touch wood, long may that continue!

I know some footballers who are new dads look forward to away games because the overnight stop allows them a good sleep if their baby isn’t sleeping.

With sleep not being an issue at home, I look forward to having a good game and then getting back home as quickly as possible to see my family.

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