Exclusive Lukas Nmecha Preston North End column: From training under Pep Guardiola at Man City to making an impression at Deepdale

After our last two results I'm not so sure if the break between fixtures came at a good time or not.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 18th October 2018, 5:00 pm
In action against Derby County earlier in the season
In action against Derby County earlier in the season

When you pick up some points you just want the next game to come around as soon as possible.

But that’s the way it is, we know that international breaks fall every few weeks in the early part of the season and we work around them.

We got some time off to rest and recover but we trained hard too on the days we were in.

The intensity of the work was still there, we’ve done a lot of running to keep up the fitness and sharpness.

This week we’ve been building up to the Hull game and we’ll be in good shape to go there.

It is a big game and a chance for us to push on from where we are in the league at the moment.

The confidence is there from the 3-3 draw at Aston Villa and then beating Wigan 4-0 a couple of weeks ago.

Hull are close to us in the table and we want to pull away from them if we can.

It is the start of another busy period of games and if we can put a run together, we can get up the table.

My loan here at Preston is one I’m enjoying and I think you can see from my recent performances that I’ve grown into it.

It was always the plan that Manchester City would loan me out this year after I’d had half a season training with their first-team squad.

At the start of last season I trained with the City first team here and there but it was from January onwards that I joined the squad full-time. It was a huge boost to be given the chance to train with City, be coached every day by Pep Guardiola and be working with all the talented players they have.

Training with the City first team led to me playing a few games.

I came on as substitute in a cup game and then in the Premier League against West Ham and Brighton towards the end of last season.

When you’re young, you are always looking for a bit more but when I’m older I’m sure I will look back at those appearances and see that they were big moments at that stage of my career.

There were a few clubs who wanted to take me on loan but I decided Preston was the right move.

I just got the right feeling about the club and what the manager had to say.

It has been an easy place to settle in at, I was told when I signed that the dressing room was a welcoming place and that has proved to be the case.

Brandon Barker having joined from City a couple of days before me was a big help – a bit of a familiar face.

With him being a couple of years older, I’d only ever played in the same team as him once or twice when I’d played up an age level.

But he was someone I knew from being around the City training ground.

The lads here have all helped me settle.

Paul Gallagher and Tom Clarke have been the ones who have offered more of the advice and that is important for a young player.

I feel like I’m learning every day, learning about the football we play and about the division we are in.

After the last couple of performances, the next thing I need to add to my game are goals.

I’m confident that those will come if I continue to work hard – my focus is to help the team do well and get up the table.

I was born in Germany and lived in Hamburg until I was nine.

In Germany I didn’t play any organised football – it was just kicking around with my friends.

My family then moved to Manchester and I started to play for a local team.

A lady involved in the team knew someone at City and I joined their academy.

I’ve been in England for 10 years and my Manchester accent has developed well!

My younger brother Felix is also at City and he turned 18 recently.

At the moment Felix has chosen to play for Germany at international level, while I’ve chosen England.

We have both got time to decide to change if needs be but we are both happy with what we are doing.

People ask if there is a bit of brotherly rivalry between us but there isn’t really.

We get on well and want to see one another do as well as possible.

Felix is just under two years younger than me so we are not too far apart in our development as players.

During the international break, it was good to see a former City player Jadon Sancho make his debut for England at the age of 18.

The fact Jadon came on and did well against Croatia was not a surprise because he is a talented player.