International break is source of frustration for Preston North End’s Josh Harrop

Preston midfielder Josh Harrop
Preston midfielder Josh Harrop

Josh Harrop would rather be playing this weekend than putting his feet up as he looks to make up for lost time after 10 months out of the Preston team.

The attacking midfielder missed much of last season after having surgery to repair a damaged cruciate ligament.

In the last few weeks though, Harrop has played in four games – getting through 90 minutes in three of them.

With three goals and two yellow cards to his name, he is well into the swing of things.

Hence him wanting to be playing this weekend rather than sitting tight during the international break.

Harrop told the Lancashire Post: “To be honest I just want to play, I didn’t want the break to come.

“I suppose it’s good for the body to have a rest and a good opportunity for some of the lads to get back from injury but I’m at that stage where I want to be out on the pitch.

“It’s been great to have got back playing and steadily I’ve built up to where I am now.

“I’ve played 90 minutes in three of the games and last week at Nottingham Forest was the first where my body wasn’t cramping up in the last few minutes.

“Your body gets used to it again, you get used to the movements and what you need to do to get through.”

Harrop’s goals have been a confidence booster since he returned to action.

The 23-year-old scored a few moments after coming on as a substitute in the 4-0 win at Bradford in the League Cup.

He found the net against Stoke in his first league start and again in the League Cup tie against Hull.

Bearing in mind Harrop had only scored four goals for Preston before this season, it is not a bad return to say the least.

“The goals have given me that extra bit of confidence,” said Harrop.

“If you are playing well as an attacking player, the goals will tend to come.

“I got a bit of luck with my first goal back at Bradford – my shot got a deflection and it looped in.

“That shot was my second or third touch after coming off the bench.

“Having been out with the injury for a lot of last season, maybe I was due some luck.”

Although frustrated to have no game this weekend, Harrop has been using the break in action wisely.

The squad trained during the week before being given a long weekend, Harrop fitting in extra fitness work.

“We all have an individual programme to do, as well as the fitness work we do as a squad,” said Harrop.

“Myself and Billy Bodin have leg-weight sessions to do following our injuries.

“When there are no games to focus on, you can do a bit 
extra to help yourself.”