Republic of Ireland striker Graham Burke settling in at Preston North End

Graham Burke is pleased with the way he is adapting to being back in English football at Preston.

Thursday, 6th September 2018, 6:00 am
Updated Thursday, 6th September 2018, 9:36 am

The Irishman has scored twice in four starts and one sub appearance since signing from Shamrock Rovers in the summer.

Tonight, Burke will turn his focus on international football together with his PNE team-mate Callum Robinson.

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PNE forward Graham Burke is in the Republic of Ireland squad to face Wales tonight

The pair are in the Republic of Ireland squad to face Wales in Cardiff in the UEFA Nations League.

But a calf injury has ruled Alan Browne out of the game.

Burke said: “I think I scored three in pre-season and then I’ve got two goals this season in four starts.

“If you were to tell me that at the start of the season, I’d have taken your hand off.

“But it’s only a start, this is a tricky game.

“You could have two great games and then have two bad games.

“You have got to try and be consistent and that’s what I have to do now I’m in England.

“It is completely different to being in Ireland.

“So it has started well for me, although Saturday was a little disappointing – I wasn’t happy with how I performed against Bolton.”

Burke acknowledges that results-wise, PNE have not made the best of starts.

They have won one, drawn two and lost three of their first six Championship matches, a sequence which sees them sat 19th in the table.

Said Burke: “Obviously our hope is to challenge to get out of the division, whether that’s play-offs or automatic.

“We have one win out of six so far this season, so it’s not the ideal start that we wanted.

“But the Championship is a league where you could string three or four wins on the bounce and that would put you right up there.

“People have great starts and then fade off, some have bad starts like Fulham when they got promoted – I think they were 15th at Christmas and went up.

“So obviously we haven’t started as well as we would have wanted to, but we are hoping to kick on and pick up a lot more points.”

Burke started out at Aston Villa and went on to play for Shrewsbury (loan) and Notts County, before returning to play for Shamrock Rovers.

Returning to England from the League of Ireland does present its challenges.

Burke said: “No English person knows the League of Ireland, so they see their club signing a player and they don’t know what they’re getting.

“Some will be saying, ‘Why are we signing him, he has no experience playing in the Championship’?

“A player coming out of the League of Ireland, to play in the Championship, you can’t really turn it down. If it works out for you, it works out, if it doesn’t, it doesn’t.”