Exclusive Darnell Fisher Preston North End column: Inside track on my switch to left-back

Riding a tackle from Sheffield Wednesday's Barry Bannan at Deepdale last weekRiding a tackle from Sheffield Wednesday's Barry Bannan at Deepdale last week
Riding a tackle from Sheffield Wednesday's Barry Bannan at Deepdale last week
For the last few games there has been a change of position for me, with the manager asking me to fill the left-back berth.

I will give anything a good go and to be fair it’s been a bit of a change and a challenge.

The manager explained that he wanted me to play at left-back so that he could give Joe Rafferty his chance at right-back.

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I’m fine with that – as long as I’m playing in the team I’m happy.

Obviously I’m right footed so there will be times when I switch on to my right foot to make a pass or clearance.

But I can swing my left boot when it’s needed and deal with situations that way.

The Ipswich match on Good Friday was when the manager first moved me.

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In the first half I really felt out of my depth and out of position but Ben Davies next to me kept saying I was doing fine and just to keep going.

Looking at the footage of the game, it actually looked like I did okay – sometimes I can be too critical of myself.

When he switched me over to the left, the manager said he’d seen me play as a left-back for Rotherham against Norwich when he was the manager there.

I remember that game, Jacob and Josh Murphy both played for Norwich – one started and the other came on as a sub.

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That day I felt I did all right and obviously that had stuck in the manager’s mind.

I mentioned having Ben Davies next to me and what a good season he’s had.

Davo will go to the top, I’m sure of that and he will get better and better the more games he plays.

He’s a good guy too, which is important. Davo is a 
composed player who gets himself quickly in position to defend, he sees the danger early.

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When you need a pass to get the ball out from the back, he’s the one to play it and gets himself the time to do that.

He and Jordan Storey complement each other very well and when you have got Andrew Hughes in there, it’s a good back four to play in.

Hughesy has had a great first season with us when you consider he’d never played in the Championship before.

When you look back at the season, I would describe it as being mixed.

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We won the first game 1-0 against QPR, had the draw with Stoke but then hit that bad run which took a bit of recovering from.

There have been two quite lengthy runs of good results but also a lot of injuries to contend with.

This division is all about consistency and keeping people fit to help you do that.

For a little while we were in with a sniff of making the play-offs but then there was that big week when we lost to Sheffield United, Leeds and West Bromwich.

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Overall, it’s been okay and hopefully we can give it a right go next season.

The manager spoke in the press about looking at all the injuries, wanting to cut down on them and keeping more of the lads fit.

Anything that will help us next season would be great.

We don’t want to be the ‘nearly club’ all the time.

My first season here, we finished seventh – nearly making the play-offs – this time we had a sniff and then tailed off again.

The players don’t want that, the manager doesn’t want that, neither do the fans – we all want to push as high as we can.

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In terms of injuries, touch wood I’ve been okay. I have had the odd niggle but 
nothing serious enough to keep me out for any length of time.

By this stage of the season, most footballers’ bodies are in bits – you’ve been kicked all over the place for nine or 10 months.

The fitness levels are high though, and you tend to be able to get through the games without a problem.

It is more difficult earlier in the season when you are still building your sharpness and match fitness up.

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We’ve got one more game to go against Brentford at their place on Sunday.

Brentford are a very good footballing team so it will be a tough game for us – I’m sure the manager will be drilling that into us .

We beat them 4-3 at our place in October, which I’m sure was a great game to watch but as a defender wasn’t the best to play in. What Brentford do well is move the ball quickly around the edge of the box, you’ve got to be ready for the one-twos and to track their runners.

Once Sunday’s game is played, it will be nice to have a few weeks’ break.

Holiday-wise, I tend to be a bit last minute and haven’t got anywhere booked yet.

I’ll get back to Reading to see the family but mainly I’ll spend it up here – maybe get to Baluga with Alan Browne!