Danny Graham is looking forward to going back to Brunton Park for tonight’s final pre-season friendly.
The striker spent two years as a player at Carlisle earlier in his career, netting 33 goals in 102 games following a successful loan spell, and he admits he has a lot to thank the Cumbria club for.
“I’ve only been back there once, for Peter Murphy’s testimonial a few years ago,” said Graham.
“A lot has probably changed since I was last there, not many players, if any, are still there, but it’s always nice to go back to somewhere that was probably a good stepping stone in my career at the time.
“I loved my time at Carlisle. It was the first chance for me to play regular first team football. The first season we got to the play-off semis and we were unfortunate to get beat off Leeds, but I thoroughly enjoyed it and it was massive in my football education and it helped me to move on and eventually play Premier League football, so I’m massively grateful for the two years and the opportunity they gave me.”
Tonight’s game against the League Two side is Rovers’ sixth and final friendly ahead of next weekend’s big kick-off away to Southend.
Graham has been in fine goalscoring form this summer, netting in the games against Barrow, York City, Morecambe and Grimsby Town, and he is hoping to get more minutes – and hopefully more goals – under his belt at Brunton Park tonight.
“Obviously minutes is massive,” he added. “I think I’ve done 75, 60, 45 and two 30s, so the minutes have been building up nicely and obviously it would be nice to get another goal.
“As a forward you want to be selfish and score every game and if I manage to do that against Carlisle and we put in a good team performance then it will be a good final game of pre-season for us.
“It’s always nice to get goals early on and I should have scored against Sparta Prague as well, so I should really have five in five, but we’re going to miss chances along the way. The most important thing is to put in a good team performance and fine tune the little bits we need to do before we move on to the business end, which is Southend next week.”