A break will be welcome after a long, difficult at times, season for Preston

Frankie McAvoy says a good summer break will be vital for Preston North End’s squad  after the last two campaigns effectively rolled into one.

Saturday, 8th May 2021, 8:00 am

PNE play their final game of the season today (12.30pm) against Nottingham Forest at the City Ground.

The squad will be given fitness programmes for the summer to keep them ticking over until pre-season training in late June.

But getting some rest will be the important thing over the next few weeks.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Patrick Bauer

North End interim head coach McAvoy said: “This break is massive for them, all clubs will feel the same about that for their players.

“I’m happy the season is coming to an end and we have achieved what we wanted to do when we came in.

“A lot of the lads need a good rest because this season has been relentless. Rest and recuperation is vital.

“Some of them have picked up niggling injuries through not having much time to recover between games.

“When you look around football there are players who have picked up certain injuries they wouldn’t have got in a normal season.

“There was the quick turnaround last year with not much of a break, so they deserve one this time.”

Last year, the season was paused in early March and didn’t resume until June 20.

In that time, players kept up their fitness at home and then were allowed to return to training in late May.

The season finished on July 22 with the squads returning for a shortened pre-season three weeks later ready for a September 12 start.

The 2021/22 EFL season will start on the weekend of August 7 and all being well, fans will be inside stadiums.

When North End return for pre-season, their current walking wounded will be available to join in.

Patrick Bauer has been out since December 1 after rupturing his Achilles tendon.

Declan Rudd had knee surgery in January after cartilage came out of place and jammed in the back of his kneecap.

More recently, Daniel Johnson and Joe Rafferty have been sidelined by calf and back injuries respectively.

McAvoy said: “Patrick is running and has been doing well with the physios.

“Dec has been working with Mike Pollitt for a few weeks which is great.

“Joe Rafferty is not far away either. He’s had a twist on his back which was a difficult one for him but he’s been running.

“As I mentioned last week, we decided not to risk DJ in the last couple of games.

“We could have put him back in but we didn’t want to risk him breaking down with us having achieved safety.

“It’s better that he gets properly right and fit.”

Support us and become a subscriber today. Enjoy unlimited access to local news, the latest football stories and new puzzles every day. With a digital subscription, you can see fewer ads, enjoy faster load times, and get access to exclusive newsletters and content. Click here to subscribe.