Troy Parrott has not been asked by his Preston team-mates how to stop Tottenham forward Harry Kane, but admits his answer “would probably be you can’t”.
Spurs academy graduate Parrott will be reduced to watching on Saturday night after his parent club were drawn away to his current team in the FA Cup fourth round.
It could be a record-breaking occasion for Kane, who needs one more goal to move past Jimmy Greaves and become Tottenham’s outright leading scorer, but the striker has not been the sole talk of the Deepdale defenders this week.
“For me my answer would probably be you can’t stop Harry, but that is because I have seen him work every day, seen how good he is and yeah, he is up there with the best,” Preston loanee Parrott told the PA news agency.
“I haven’t heard too much (talk) to be fair. I think the lads are just focused on going out there and playing the best they can.
“Obviously for Harry it is an unbelievable achievement for when he does break that record, whether it be this weekend or the next game, but I think the lads are just focused on putting a good performance in on Saturday.
“It is a weird one. Obviously I’ve never been in this position before, so it is strange, but I am looking forward to watching the game and seeing how it will pan out.”
Parrott will come across plenty of familiar faces, but did spend time back at Spurs towards the end of 2022 while recovering from a hamstring injury.
It was sustained in the aftermath of scoring his first Sky Bet Championship goal in a 3-2 win at Norwich on October 8 and meant he missed 14 matches for Preston.
Despite Parrott’s frustration, he was grateful for the mid-season break and the fact a brief return to Hotspur Way also gave him the chance to speak with Antonio Conte.
He added: “Yeah, I spoke to him. It was only brief though. He asked me how the rehab and stuff was going, but it was nice to go back and see him, see the rest of the lads and be around them again.
“But I have enjoyed it here at Preston so far.
“The physios treated me really well and the players were all asking me every day how I was getting on, so I have enjoyed my time here. Hopefully I can give a little bit more back to the team in the second half of the season.”
Parrott’s deflected effort at Norwich saw him break his Championship duck after a difficult loan with Millwall at that level in 2020.
The Republic of Ireland international, who made four appearances for Tottenham in the 2019-20 campaign, believes he can make an impact in the second tier after League One loans with Ipswich and MK Dons.
“When I think back to it and the player I am now, maybe back then I wasn’t quite up to it or quite ready for the Championship,” Parrott said of his Millwall spell.
“Coming back this season, I’ve been here before, I’ve had two loans in the middle of that and felt more ready. I think that showed in the first nine to 10 games that I did play.
“Although the chances I was getting weren’t quite falling into the goal, I was taking a lot of encouragement from just getting the chances.
“Obviously then I got my goal against Norwich and got injured straight after which was frustrating, but what I feel now is I am more ready.”
With Parrott unable to feature this weekend, his next assignment will be Bristol City’s visit on February 4, which is the day he celebrates his 21st birthday.
After a strong finish to last season helped fire MK Dons into the League One play-offs, the young forward hopes to achieve similar with Preston and will continue to take inspiration from Kane, who endured his own trials and tribulations on loan.
Parrott admitted: “I think that Harry just shows it is possible. It doesn’t matter how many attempts it takes, if you keep knocking on the door and keeping doing what you have to there is a path there.
“I feel like obviously right now I am where I am because of my level, so I just need to keep getting better, keep doing more extras and ultimately become better every day.
“I will keep trying to improve and my end goal will always be to go back to Spurs and play there.”
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