Manchester City's Liam Delap talks about his future and challenges of Preston North End loan spell

Liam Delap admits there have been good times and bad times during his time at Preston North End but has enjoyed his experience away from parent club Manchester City.
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Delap joined North End in January after ending his loan deal at Stoke City, switching to Deepdale with the same deal as the Potters had struck with the reigning Premier League champions.

The 20-year-old netted three times for Stoke before moving to Lancashire and though he hasn’t yet found the net in his second loan, he played a part in Saturday’s equaliser as his side drew 1-1 with Blackburn Rovers, just about keeping their play-off hopes alive.

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His time spent at Stoke and PNE is the first taste of life away from Man City for Delap, who has three goals this campaign, all coming whilst on loan with the former.

Preston North End's Liam Delap during the game at Swansea CityPreston North End's Liam Delap during the game at Swansea City
Preston North End's Liam Delap during the game at Swansea City

It’s been a learning process for the highly rated England youth international, who admits that times have been tough along the way but he understands it’s part of being in a senior setup.

He said: “It's been difficult at times, it's been good at times but it's been a great experience. As a young player you need this sort of experience in your career and it's been a very good six months for me. It's a learning process. Although you're coming into men's football for the first time, for me, properly, it's a great experience.

“It's the same league so you're coming up against the same opposition but it's a different dressing room and different people involved. I've really enjoyed my time here. It's a good group and the togetherness of the group is there. They welcome you with open arms and I've been pleased with that.

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“It's hard being on the bench but it's part of football. You've always got to be ready and you've always got to be ready to take your chance and to take your opportunity. You've always got to prepare right and as if you're playing because you never know what's going to happen.”

As Delap’s loan spell nears its end, there will of course be speculation about his future. He will not be drawn too much on what the future holds however, with short term and medium term goals in the way of the long term and beyond the summer.

First he wants to get North End in to a play-off place, then his attentions will turn to international duty and a U20 World Cup with the Young Lions in Argentina.

Delap said: “The most important thing is just to focus on the next game, we've got Sheffield United who are a tough opposition so we'll go and do our homework on them and then come out on Saturday firing. We'll focus on that and getting the three points there.

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"We've worked hard this whole season and to be within touching distance in the last two games, we've just got to carry on and work that extra little bit to go and get in there.

“We may have a World Cup with England in the summer, the U20s, so we'll see how that goes and then focus on my future. The focus at the moment is the play-offs and Sheffield United. After that, who knows.”