Ched Evans says the heat is on in Preston North End's build-up to new season

Striker Ched Evans is feeling the heat in Preston North End’s pre-season so far, but is pleased with how things are going.

Friday, 23rd July 2021, 8:00 am

Evans has featured in all of PNE’s games thus far, with around 30 minutes played most recently against Bolton Wanderers on Wednesday as Frankie McAvoy’s men fell to a 1-0 defeat.

Evans also played an hour against Celtic as North End won 1-0.

It is his first pre-season at Preston, having signed in the winter transfer window this year, going on to score five times between then and the end of the season leading the line.

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Celtic’s Stephen Welsh and North End’s Ched Evans during last Saturday’s pre-season friendly

Playing through the current heat wave has also been a challenge for the Welshman.

Tuesday’s game against the Trotters was played in 25 degree heat and the players had a double session yesterday on one of the hottest days of the year so far.

“Pre-season has gone well so far, it’s all about getting minutes under your belt and the lads getting going again,” Evans told the Lancashire Post.

“We had a good result against Celtic and created a few chances. Bolton was a bit less fruitful when it came to chances but I thought Wanderers looked pretty good.

“They’re on the back of a promotion and you could see they were buzzing.

“The heat plays a massive factor in these pre-season games as well.

“It is draining, if you’re sat around it all day it just makes you tired sitting in the heat. A few of us, me included, can’t wait for a bit of rain.

“Overall as a group we’re pleased.”

North End next travel to Accrington Stanley tomorrow afternoon, with a 3pm kick off.

The contest at the Wham Stadium is another test against League One opposition, following Bolton. Accrington finished last season in 11th place and will provide a different test to Ian Evatt’s side.

The level of opposition is not much of a concern to Evans, who believes that if PNE get it right on the day they should be victorious.

He said: “Every game is going to be tough in pre-season because every player is at a different stage of their pre-season.

“It’ll be, for us, making sure we get what we need out of the game – minutes, the shape, a performance.

“With that, if we do that well, we’ll come away with a result.

“If we don’t we make it more difficult for ourselves. We learn off that.

“And every minute that we play we’re getting fitter and stronger. You’re getting your style of play and everyone is working on their touch.

“As long as we’re right for the start of the season, that is the key.”

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