Preston North End leading scorer Callum Robinson delighted to see team-mate Lukas Nmecha back among the goals
Callum Robinson and Lukas Nmecha shared the goals in Preston North End ’s victory over Ipswich on Good Friday and Robinson was delighted to see his team-mate back on the scoresheet.
The pair scored twice each in the 4-0 win as North End found their form after the recent results dip.
Robinson took his tally for the season to 13, while in Nmecha’s case he doubled his goals for the campaign.
The Manchester City had not found the net since New Year’s Day when he scored at Rotherham.
A spell on the bench and then a switch out wide saw him dry-up as far as the goals were concerned.
However, the 20-year-old has shown some good form since Alex Neil gave him the chance on the wing.
And in a bid to get him among the goals, PNE boss Neil switched Nmecha into the striker’s role for the visit of Ipswich to Deepdale.
Like Nmecha, Robinson first joined North End on loan.
He had three spells on loan from Aston Villa and then made the full-time move in July 2016.
Robinson said: “Lukas has been doing really well as a team player but the goals weren’t really coming.
“So it was a great to see him scoring against Ipswich, he did well for them.
“He’s a really good player, he has got a bright future – I’m really looking forward to seeing how he does when he goes back to City or wherever he goes next.
“He is a good lad, it would be good to see him back here again.
“From where he was when he walked through the door to what he is now, there is a big difference.
“We all knew he had the ability but what he does for the team now is great, he stretches the play, comes short, he has learned so much.
“He has the ability to play at the top.”
Robinson felt the fact Nmecha took quite a while to settle at Deepdale should not be seen as a surprise.
“It is Lukas’ first loan, he is young lad who has come in from Manchester City,” said Robinson.
“City are a massive club and he’s come to one with different facilities and different players.
“You are playing with men who want to get to where City are, it is not the same as the Under-23s or 21s.
“On the pitch he has developed in a whole-round player.
“Lukas has pace and is strong but it is that game understanding, when to stretch the game and that sort of thing, which he has learned.”
Robinson is trying to make up for lost time after missing nearly four months following surgery to repair a torn hamstring tendon.
Friday’s game was his fifth since he came back and by far the most effective.
He played 75 minutes, his longest time on the pitch yet, but had hoped to stay on for longer to try and score a hat-trick.
However, with a game at Wigan on Monday and the nature of his injury, this is no time to be taking risks.
Robinson said: “That was the most minutes I have had since the injury, 75 minutes.
“Being out was hard to take, I was doing so well and then I got the injury – I had never had an injury before.
“I have got back and found my feet.
“I am still probably 10%–15% below where I want to be.
“I stuck to the advice of when to come back, not to rush it.
“I worked with the physio who had done Sean Maguire’s recovery from a similar injury and Greg’s (Cunningham) as well.
“I didn’t rush it, I came back in good time and I feel strong.
“Against Ipswich I didn’t want to come off, for those 30 seconds or so when I was coming over to the bench I didn’t want to – I wanted to get my hat-trick.
“We have got another game on Monday, there no point forcing another 15-20 minutes and it was the right decision.”
What is encouraging for Robinson is that he is not thinking about the injury when he’s playing.
It can be at the back on the mind after a lengthy spell out but Robinson says it is not something he thinks about on the pitch.
He said: “Maybe in the first couple of games it is still in your head but as the weeks go on you feel fresher.
“On Friday I didn’t think about it one bit.
“The part of my game which has taken a bit of time to return is awareness.
“The way I play the game, awareness is a big thing.
“I had some tough games to come back into.
“Reading away I wasn’t 100% but Alan Browne wasn’t fit so I started. I would maybe have liked to come on in that one rather than start it.
“We then had Sheffield United, Leeds and West Brom, all top teams. Now I’m playing football without thinking about my hamstring.
“I got hurt by running, not through a tackle. You have got to run in football so I can’t be fearful of doing that.”
Robinson moved back to the top of the PNE scoring charts with his pair against Ipswich.
Having pulled level with Browne by netting the late consolation at West Brom, he’s now on 13.
“It shows how far Alan has come since he joined Preston, myself too,” said Robinson.
“We have both along way from our League One days here.”