Preston North End player column: Emil Riis will be back on familiar turf at Derby County this weekend

It seems a long time since we last played so it will be good to be back in action this weekend.

By Dave Seddon
Thursday, 31st March 2022, 4:45 pm

Over the international break we were given some time off and after playing every three or four days for the last few months, it was nice to have that rest and switch off from football for a short while.

It wasn’t nice going into the break after a 4-0 defeat at Luton but at least the break was a chance to freshen up the mind and body ready for the last month of the season.

I went back home to Denmark for five days, took the opportunity to see family and friends. It was an opportunity to have a bit of fun and clear the mind of football for a short time.

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Preston North End striker Emil Riis scores against Bournemouth at Deepdale

It was a nice rest and I’ve felt good for it since coming back to training last week. We’ve had plenty of time on the training pitch since and we’ll be ready for the games in front of us.

The manager was saying that there is still something to play for, while the play-offs are still mathematically in reach we have to focus on that.

Even if the play-offs get beyond us, we have our professionalism and we want to do well in every game, finish the season as strongly as possible.

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We play Derby County on Saturday and that is a football club I know very well having spent two-and-a-half seasons with.

I went on trial there just after my 17th birthday and scored six goals in the three games I played on trial.

That led to me signing a contract and I had a year in the Under-18s and then two seasons in the Under-23s. In the last six months, I went on loan to a club to Holland.

I had a great time at Derby, I was young when I went there and they looked after me well.

As I was young, I went to live with a family who took care of me. They had two spare rooms, so they took myself and another young player in.

Their house was close to the training ground so we could walk there every day. There were houses nearby where other young players lived, so it was a bit of a community.

I was never close to getting in the first-team at Derby. One of the seasons I was top scorer in the Under-23s but they didn’t rate me highly enough to go into the first-team squad.

That is why I went on loan to the club in Holland for the last part of my contract and then I went home to Denmark to join Randers.

The fans were always good to me at Derby and their stadium is a nice one.

Obviously they are not in a great position at the moment with their finances which is not nice to see and hopefully they can get that side of things sorted out.

Derby is in my past, I’m a Preston player now and my aim is to reach 20 goals this season. If I can reach 20, then I’ll set another target.

I’ve eight games to get to 20 goals so I’ll be trying my hardest.