Gregg Smith wants to be back to his best in time for Boston United’s National League North curtain-raiser.
The Pilgrims striker made his return from injury during the side’s 1-1 friendly draw with Barrow yesterday.
And now his next step is to be challenging for a starting role at Southport on August 5.
“Come the start of the season I want to be 100 per cent fit,” said Smith.
“Pre-season is what it is.
“It’s running, it’s horrible. But you’ve got to put the work in and go from there.
“I want to be ready.”
Smith has been sidelined since fracturing his ankle on New Year’s Day, and even the ever-confident forward admitted to a strange feeling ahead of his return.
“Six-and-a-half months. I thought about it in the morning, I was like ‘wow’,” he continued.
“But I spoke to the gaffer on Thursday and he said he wanted to get minutes into me and see how I got on.
“I’ll be honest, I felt good out there.”
Smith’s recuperation period has seen him receive plenty of good luck messages from Pilgrims fans as well as supporters of his old clubs and even some rivals - somrthing he admits has helped him through.
He added: “You get out what you put in.
“I’ve got time for anyone who wants a picture or anything like that, but the fans have been great to me the whole time.
“You can’t wish for any more rally.”
And there was almost a goal to mark Smith’s return, only for a late header to fly over the Barrow bar.
“It was nearly written in the stars,” Smith said with a smile.
“I ran too quick, which I didn’t think I could ever do.”