View from the pitch column - Liam Grimshaw

I have played in the first four games of the season and in terms of fitness, I'm feeling absolutely fine.

By The Newsroom
Friday, 19th August 2016, 3:13 pm
Updated Friday, 19th August 2016, 5:14 pm
Liam Grimshaw in action against Fulham
Liam Grimshaw in action against Fulham

Right-back is a position which I’m still learning – I played there when I was younger but not so much in recent years.

I’m just trying to do my job for the team while doing as well as possible in that role.

For the opening game at Reading a couple of weeks ago, I was playing at right wing-back.

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That was the first time I had ever played there and it is completely different than playing at right-back in a flat back four.

I found it a bit difficult but I was asked to play there again, I would use the experience at Reading to help me grow into the role – the more you play in a position, it gets a bit easier.

This has been the first chance I’ve had to play for Preston since I signed here in January because of the knee operation I had.

Touch wood, things are fine with the knee now and I can keep on building up my match sharpness.

Like any player who has had an injury or surgery, you have to manage that area of your body carefully.

During pre-season, if the knee was feeling a bit sore with all the work, I would drop out of a session and do some work in the gym instead.

But I played in some of the friendly games to get my match fitness up and that has improved with the run I’ve had since the season started.

When we went to Ireland in pre-season, we all had bikes to get round the complex.

I think a few of the lads have since mentioned that I struggled with the cycling.

As a kid, I never rode a bike, I just used to play football and cricket.

So when the bikes came out in Ireland, I didn’t know how to ride mine!

It meant I had to walk up to the canteen to have my dinner when the other lads were cycling around. To be fair, by the end of the week, I had got the hang of it but don’t expect me to see me doing an impression of Jason Kenny or Chris Froome any time soon!

Results-wise, our start to the season has not been good and we know it is something which has to change soon.

I don’t think we are too far away from getting to where we want to be in terms of our performances and results.

We didn’t play well in the first half of either the Reading or Fulham matches.

But I thought we did alright in the second half of those two games and then pretty much for all of the Derby game on Tuesday night.

As long as we keep the team spirit going and keep working hard for each other, I’m sure that the results will come.

We have to be switched on from the start, be hard to beat and disciplined – do that and we will kick on.

Obviously, we have lost Joe Garner from the squad and I can only wish him all the best in Scotland with Rangers.

Joe has looked after me a lot since I signed, with him living in the same neck of the woods as myself.

Myself, Joe and Tommy Spurr drive in together and we always had a good laugh.

I’m sure the Preston fans will be gutted to see him go because Joe has done very well for the club and scored a lot of goals.

But it is a good move for him, Rangers are a massive club and I hope he does well up there.

As for the car share, Joe was all over the place so maybe I won’t miss it when it is his turn to drive!

With me having signed for Preston from Manchester United, I do keep a close eye on their fortunes.

United signing Paul Pogba was obviously the big news of the summer, it being a world-record transfer fee.

When he was at United as a youngster, Pogba was a couple of years older than myself and Ben Pearson.

But we trained with him when coming through the system as all the age groups used to mix together. They wanted to get players used to playing against older footballers.

Often the age groups were mixed together in training at United on a Monday afternoon.

At the training ground we had the ‘cage’ which was basically a five-a-side pitch.

We would have games on there, they were competitive with everyone getting stuck in.

It really tested you out, both physically and mentally.

I would like to say that I nutmegged Pogba or got the better of him in one of those games in the cage, but I don’t think I did!

Even back then, Pogba looked a superb player.

I probably didn’t think that one day, he would return for £89m, but he is definitely one of the best players I have played with.

Some players have an aura about them; Pogba has the size and presence on the pitch to really stand out.

It is hard to get the ball off him once he takes possession and he should prove a great buy for United.

He took a bit of a risk when leaving United a few years ago to join Juventus.

It wasn’t a bad move though, was it?

Juventus are a massive club in Italy and Pogba did really well for himself there, having a lot of success.

Pogba’s signing and that of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, are big statements of intent.

They are both the big name signings which maybe United have lacked in the last few seasons.

While they have spent a fair bit of money, their signings have not really paid off.

With Jose Mourinho there, you fancy United to challenge for the title and it should be an exciting season at the top end of the Premier League.

You cannot write Leicester off when it comes to being up there again.

They have managed to keep the bulk of their title-winning squad together.

This season, they have got the Champions League too which could stretch them as they look to keep going in the Premier League.

It is something to keep an eye on from afar, my focus is on helping Preston pick up some points and climbing the Championship table.