Harrop Relishing Hectic Schedule
Friday, 22nd Jan 2021 10:47
Town new boy Josh Harrop is in no way put off by the club’s hectic fixture programme over the coming weeks – in fact the very opposite.
The Preston loanee, who is at Portman Road for the remainder of the current campaign and hopes to make his debut in tomorrow’s key home clash with promotion rivals Peterborough, is itching for a part of the action after being a fringe figure at Deepdale in recent weeks.
It will be make or break time for Town and the other teams with promotion ambitions over the next six weeks or so. Paul Lambert’s men have no fewer than 18 games scheduled between tomorrow and March 27th, when they travel to Wigan, and Harrop is relishing the prospect of regular first-team football.
The 25-year-old midfielder or winger said: “I had my first training session yesterday, which was good to get out of the way and it was good to meet all the lads.
“I’ve been down here for about a week now but it took a bit of time to get everything sorted. The training went well and it is what it is.
“I’ve done it most of my life so I’m used to it but I hope I made a good first impression in front of everyone. I felt I did okay.
“Some of the quality was good and everyone was trying to play football. There were some good combinations between the lads so I found it enjoyable.
“I came through the training session well and I’m fit and ready to go. It’s just about getting the training sessions in and getting my body up to speed.
“I know about the busy schedule that lies ahead but game after game is what you want in my situation and the sooner they come the better.
“Especially when you’re doing well, you just want the games to keep coming, so hopefully that can be the case. I want to get off to a good start and I want to put everything into the games that I get to play in.”
Harrop admitted there were other options available to him but did not confirm reports that had also linked him with moves to Sunderland and Oxford.
He added: “There were a few clubs interested in me but when I spoke to the manager here, and he gave me an understanding of what he would want from me as a player, and the position he intended to play me in, I felt it suited me best to come here and it made me feel confident about doing well in my time here.
“When I met the manager for the first time and he told me how he wants his team to play, as well as how he wants me to play, it was inviting for me to come here. I had other options that I had to think about but after the conversations we had I sat down and decided this was my best option ahead of the others.”
Asked what Lambert is expecting of the one-time Manchester United youngster, he replied: “He wants me to get on the ball, make things happen, get the ball moving quickly and pick the right passes in the final third of the pitch to create things going forward. These are the kind of things I look to do anyway. I go out there to make things happen.
“It’s always tough as a player when you’re not playing. Every player wants to play football so that’s what I’m here to do.
“Not playing as often as I would have liked at Preston meant my best option was to go out on loan, so I’m happy to be here and I can’t wait to get started.”
This season Harrop has started just one Championship game, and had a further four outings as a substitute in the league, while also making three Carabao Cup starts and scoring once for the club he joined from United three and a half years ago.
He continued: “I signed a new three-year deal at the beginning of the season so I’m tied to Preston for a while, although I’ve been kicking my heels for the last couple of months or so. I want to start games, make an impact and enjoy my football. I like everything about being a player, including the pressures that come with it. I just want to play.
“That was part of the attraction of coming here and it’s clear the lads want to achieve promotion. They want to get to the top of the table and hopefully, with the assets I can bring to the team, we can do that.
“The lads are very positive, the atmosphere around the place is good and happy, and they all seem up for the challenges that lie ahead. They are keen and ready to go. They seem a really good bunch and I can’t wait for my first game.”
Harrop revealed he had a conversation with Preston team-mate Josh Earl, who played seven times for Town during a loan spell in the second half of the 2019/20 season that was curtailed because of the coronavirus pandemic and saw the Blues finish in 11th place.
He said: “I spoke to Josh about the club and the place in general. I just wanted to get an idea of what to expect if I did sign. He gave me a heads-up on everything and I’m glad I had the chat because he put me in the picture from his time here, which he enjoyed.
“It’s all very strange right now, of course, with the lockdown. I’m staying in a hotel at the minute, which means there’s not an awful lot I can do.
“I’m waiting for my girlfriend to come down and join me but I don’t know when that will be possible – not too soon because the hotel’s a bit congested.
“But it’s the same for everyone right now and there’s not much we can do with what’s going on in the world. I don’t really mind – I can get on to Netflix and there’s plenty of series to watch when I’m not training or playing.”
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