Tommy Spurr-ed On
It's been an up and down debut season at Preston for Tommy Spurr as he's managed just 10 starts from his 17 appearances for North End since arriving last summer, scoring his first goal for the club off the bench in Easter Monday's defeat to Norwich.
Former Blackburn defender Spurr, who is in line to start against Newcastle on Monday, wouldn't wish injury upon anyone but it now looking to take the chance and finish the season strongly.
Tom Clarke and Greg Cunningham have both been replaced by Spurr in the last two games - he wishes them well in their recovery bids but knows this is part of football and he has to make the most of his chance should it come.
Spurr told the Lancashire Evening Post: 'It`s awful for them to get injured - Clarkey and Gregg have done ever so well for us. Unfortunately that is part and parcel of football and I wish them a speedy recovery. People go out of the team and others come in, that is how it works. If selected, I`ll come into the team and try my best to help us finish the season as strongly as we can.'
As frustrating as it's been for Spurr he went on to say Cunningham's form at left back makes it understandable that Simon Grayson has gone with him.
His opportunities haven't often come in the best of circumstances to his teammates but Spurr has himself been sidelines at times when he could have been involved.
Adding: 'Earlier in the season I got flu for two weeks and then strained my hamstring. I`ve been in and out of the squad but I`ve kept working hard ready for when a chance came my way. I base my game on that, work hard during the week and hopefully your rewards come at the weekend. In the last two games my chance has come, albeit through circumstances which weren`t very nice.'
Looking ahead to the game at St James' Park against Newcastle, who thrashed Preston 6-0 in the League Cup six months ago - a game Spurr started, the defender know this will be a challenge but it's one North End have to be up for.
Spurr finished by saying we'll want to end the season well and not let it 'peter out' after falling away from a top-six push.
'It will be a huge game up at Newcastle, there will be a big crowd and it`s on television. We need to build some momentum over these last three games, not allow the season peter out into nothing and finish lower than last year.'