CONNOR Simpson is trying to look on the bright side as he contemplates being one of 1,400 EFL players out of contract in the coming weeks.

The Accrington Stanley loanee has made just three appearances for John Coleman’s side since joining on a season-long loan from Preston back in September.

The striker’s solitary Reds goal came in the EFL Trophy against Liverpool’s Under-21s in October on what is set to be his final appearance for the club.

Having also spent time on loan with Carlisle, and in non-league with Lancaster City and Hyde United, the former Hartlepool youngster is busy back at home in the North East posting videos online as he puts in the hard yards to stay sharp and potentially get noticed.

While many players like him face an uncertain future he believes his relative inexperience at the age of 20 could prove to be an advantage.

“The money will not be as high but I view it this way: as a young player wanting experience, it may give me a chance instead of taking on older guys with higher demands,” Simpson told The Athletic.

“It may work out OK. I have to be optimistic. Every day, I go for a run and then go to the field.

“I do a lot of fitness, speed and agility training, and a lot of finishing from different areas.

“I bought a ball machine that fires balls out to you at different speeds. You press the remote control and it acts as a player on the pitch. It crosses balls for me to head, or it does it on a timer. I can also replicate receiving the ball with my back to goal. I then watch back my videos and analyse what I can do better. I am doing runs, wearing weighted vests to spice it up a bit. I need to be ready for trials. I am a fighter.

“There won’t be footage of me recently in action, so I want to show clubs I care, that I’m not sat at home doing nothing. I have to give myself a chance.”

The Reds are likely to hear this week what is happening with their season with League One clubs split on whether to call time on the campaign or play on.

It was his parent club’s preparations for their resumption that made it clear that his time at Deepdale was likely numbered.

“I don’t think I am in the plans,” the 6ft 5in striker said.

“Preston are doing the testing for the virus and I am not in that group, so I am guessing I won’t be part of training. So, it looks like they’re not going to give me a new deal.”

As for where his next destination may be, Simpson is relaxed given his up and down career thus far.

He battled through at Hartlepool to catch the eye of North End, a move in January 2018 coming with his hometown club in financial trouble.

His first and only taste of the Championship then came a month later as a late substitute in a 1-1 draw at Aston Villa.

“I came through at 17 at Hartlepool, they were struggling and needed to look at youth players,” Simpson said.

“I washed my kit, cleaned my boots. There was no money there so everything was off your own back.

“I got a lot of kicks early on in men’s football. They wanted to bully me and throw me about. I was only 17 and quite weak at the time. I had to fight for myself. The defenders in that league are quite mad and the refs are not watching as much.

“I got the move to Preston and this was mad, my first time on the bench was Villa away in front of 30,000. I had played in front of 4,000 at Hartlepool but it was surreal really against Villa, against John Terry. I want more of that.

“The level matters less to me but the main thing is playing games.”