Decision time has arrived for Preston North End over the next manager

Preston North End have reached make-your-mind-up time over the manager’s job with Frankie McAvoy in pole position.

By Dave Seddon
Monday, 10th May 2021, 8:00 am

The plan always was to let the season run its course and then decide who would succeed Alex Neil.

PNE finished off with a 2-1 win over Nottingham Forest on Gentry Day, the victory their fourth on the bounce.

With McAvoy overseeing the collection of 17 points from a possible 24, his bowler hat has been well and truly thrown into the ring.

Frankie McAvoy directs operations from the touchline in Preston’s win over Nottingham Forest

Key figures at Deepdale favour the Scotsman getting the job, emphasising how he has turned a run of one win in nine into five wins, two draws and one defeat.

North End had 44 points from 38 games when McAvoy was handed the interim head coach role. The win at the City Ground saw them finish in 13th place on 61 points.

Throughout his time at the helm McAvoy has played a straight bat to questions about whether he wants the job.

It is a sensible approach – sometimes being boastful or too vocal can backfire.

Reflecting on the last few weeks, McAvoy told the Lancashire Post: “It is the guys who have played who deserve the credit, they’ve turned the results around.

“We hadn’t picked up enough points, we had 44 points with eight games to go.

“So to finish where we have and with the points total we have, every credit to them.

“I’m delighted that we won against Nottingham Forest because I didn’t want us to go out with a whimper.

“The first half wasn’t good enough and I told them during half-time, ‘This isn’t us, we are better than that’.

“To be fair they were much better in the second half and we turned it around.

“The win coming on Gentry Day was great. It would have been my dad’s 80th birthday so it couldn’t have ended better.”

Goals from Tom Bayliss and Liam Lindsay gave PNE their win at Forest, James Garner having put the home side in front in the first half with a fine long-distance strike.

Not since February 2016 had Preston won four matches on the bounce.

It was Bayliss’ first goal for the club in what was only his second Championship start.

In terms of the future, McAvoy said: “I’ve done my eight games, that is what we had agreed, we’d see how things went.

“I’m grateful for getting the opportunity, I couldn’t have asked for anymore from those who have been with us. We will see what happens.”

The PNE squad were this morning reporting to Euxton for their end-of-season briefing.

All will get a fitness programme to stick to over the summer break.