Greg Cunningham was a hugely exciting prospect when he departed Galway for Manchester City. The talented full-back made his Premier League debut in 2010 before successful loan spells at Leicester City and Nottingham Forest. After a spell with Bristol City, he joined Preston in 2015 in a promising move for player and club.
After arriving in Preston, he was named player of the year and captained the club. However, soon things unraveled.
Cunningham fractured his leg early in 2017. He then returned, started brightly and received a call-up to the Republic of Ireland team as a result, only to suffer another horrible injury 24 hours after he got that call. The hamstring in his left leg came away from the tendon. He underwent surgery to reattach the muscle and embarked on a rehabilitation programme.
After almost five months out, Cunningham made his return against Cardiff City last Friday night. Speaking to the club's podcast, Cunningham revealed the injury was a real blow at the time.
It was very frustrating. For myself, for any player to pick up any sort of injury. Then to rule me out for four months, it was a real kick in the teeth. That's part and parcel of the game, I had a couple of days feeling sorry for myself but you have to dust yourself down. Luckily I had the operation, the club was great they sorted the operation out literally in a couple of days.
Preston has a strong Irish contingent at the minute including Daryl Horgan, Sean Maguire, Andy Boyle, Alan Browne and Kevin O'Connor and are currently ninth in the table. Cunningham explained the club have big ambitions.
We're all in this together, we know what we want to achieve come the first weekend in May. To get in the playoffs. It was unlucky to lose against Middlesborough with the run we were on, but like I said we just dust off and go again. We go on another run, we're only three points off the playoffs. It's still very tight, just have want to make sure we keep looking after ourselves because we know what we have and we know where we want to be.
Preston boss Alex Neil spoke highly of Cunningham after the game and he looks set to regain his position in the starting 11. Hopefully, he enjoys a successful run of games on the way to their playoff run.
You can listen to the full interview here.