Rusty looking to repeat success with Preston

PUBLISHED: 15:20 17 September 2010 | UPDATED: 10:35 14 October 2010

Darel Russell comes up against his former team-mates for the first time tomorrow - and he is eager to repeat his success from last season with his new club.

Darel Russell comes up against his former team-mates for the first time tomorrow - and he is eager to repeat his success from last season with his new club.

The 29-year-old was an integral part of Norwich City's League One championship outfit, before stumbles over a new deal brought Russell's second spell at Carrow Road to an end, with a move to Preston North End secured just before the start of the new campaign.

The Lilywhites, who have lost five of their opening six Championship games, host City at deepdale tomorrow (3pm) and while a disjointed summer has left Russell playing fitness catch-up with his new team-mates, he is desperate to start showing what he can do at his new club.

“I'm up to the fitness level to be involved in first team games now,” said Russell. “All big games, but obviously Norwich stands out because I played for them.

“My two spells with Norwich were happy times. But that is the past, and football is a game which works from week to week. One minute you are the flavour, the next you are not.

“I had good memories of Norwich, but I'm going into a new chapter of my career now. I finished on a high with the League One title, I got a medal and winning week in, week out was great. I want to do the same here, that hunger burns inside me.”

Out of contract over the summer, Russell spent pre-season without a club and training with fellow Championship side, Watford.

The lack of games left him short of fitness heading into the season and although he was thrown in at the deep end by manager Darren Ferguson for Preston's opening home defeat to Doncaster, he was left to work on his fitness before returning to the starting eleven in the home defeat by Nottingham Forest.

Russell's involvement tomorrow will be of interest to the watching City fans, but the mifielder is treating it just like any game.

And despite his new side's early struggles - including a deflating collapse from 3-1 up to lost 4-3 at fierce rivals Burnley last weekend - Russell is confident the Lilywhites will turn the corner.

“In the last two games we have been in front but ended up losing which is not ideal,” said Russell. “Hopefully we can covert the chances we've been getting and leads we've been taking into wins. It's been a bit stop-start this season, hopefully we can find the right formula week in, week out.”

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