RYAN Leonard is eager to rediscover his best form for his most eagerly anticipated game of the season at Plymouth Argyle tomorrow.
The energetic Southend United midfielder grew up supporting the Pilgrims and spent eight seasons with the Devon club.
And he is therefore keen to shine against them this weekend.
“Plymouth away is the first game I look for and the one I most look forward to so of course I want to play well,” said Leonard, 21.
“But I’m experienced enough now to be able to treat it the same way as any other game, even though I’ll probably have about 15 friends and members of my family there watching.
“I don’t feel under any added pressure or anything like that and the biggest expectancy to perform well will actually come from me.”
Leonard was in stunning form last season after switching to a central midfield position and was deservedly voted the club’s player of the year.
However, he does not feel he has quite hit those high standards so far this term.
“I think it’s been a slow start from me if I’m honest and I’d like to do a lot better,” said Leonard.
“I’m enjoying playing in there with Conor Clifford and he’s on fire at the moment but hopefully this can be the game where I can start playing at my best again.”
Leonard also hopes that can help Blues get back to winning ways after picking up just one point from their last two games.
That still frustrates the midfielder but he is confident Phil Brown’s side will soon be back on track.
“We couldn’t really have done much more than we did in those two games,” said Leonard.
“We just didn’t take the chances that came our way and if we can start to do that more regularly then I’ll sure we’re going to be fine.
“And I’m 100 per cent convinced that we have the squad here to be able to get promotion this season.”
However, Leonard feels Plymouth will still be tough opponents this weekend.
“They have some good players who will make it hard for us,” said the midfielder.
“Just like Southend, they’re a very big club in League Two and don’t deserve to be playing at this level.
“I loved being there but getting released by your home-town club is one of the worst experiences you can have in football.
“I feared never playing in the league again but thankfully Paul Sturrock remembered me from Plymouth and gave me a chance with Southend.
“It’s one I was determined to make and I can’t wait to go back and play this weekend.”