Matthew Etherington is taking a realistic stance as the Premiership kick-off starts to draw closer, despite the weight of expectation becoming heavier as the season approaches.
The youngster, just 18, made an immediate impact after joining us from Peterborough United in a combined L1.2m swoop with Simon Davies in January. The pair impressed enough in the reserves to make Premiership debuts as substitutes at Liverpool in April. They went on to make full debuts at Old Trafford in May.
Winger Etherington, one of the youngest players to play in the Football League after making his debut for Posh aged 15, is not getting carried away though.
As he ran the rule over his first fixture list as a Premiership footballer, he admitted: "I'll be starting all over again when pre-season training starts in July and I'll just be trying to get in the squad again. I'm not looking any further than that. I'm not looking at miracles.
"I played a few games last season which was a dream for me, a superb experience, especially making my debut at Anfield after supporting Liverpool as a boy.
"But I'm not stupid enough to think I'll be automatically back in first-team plans again next season. I have to be realistic. I'm only 19 in August and my best years are ahead of me. I have to keep my feet on the ground."
Etherington picked out Arsenal and Manchester United as his particular highlights in the fixture list but after returning to pre-season training early next month, he and Davies have a friendly to look forward to straight away - a game at former club Peterborough at London Road on August 8.