Down to business as Frankie McAvoy prepares for Preston North End’s big kick-off

Frankie McAvoy will look for Preston North End to pick up where they left off when the new season kicks off with a Deepdale clash against Hull City tomorrow.

Friday, 6th August 2021, 8:00 am

McAvoy led PNE to a strong finish to last season with five wins, two draws and a defeat from his eight matches as interim head coach.

The Scot now has the head coach role full-time and wants to carry the late 2020/21 form into 2021/22.

In Hull, McAvoy’s men will be facing a side who were League One champions last season.

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Declan Rudd will hope to get the nod in goal against Hull on Saturday

Although respectful of what the Tigers will offer, the head coach’s focus is trained on getting the best out of his own players.

McAvoy said: “We had eight games last season to bed everything in, they were good building blocks.

“I’ve said to the players and staff there is no use doing well for the final eight games of last season and then going out with a whimper this time.

“How much sustainability have we got as a group? How much hunger and desire have we got to go and succeed?

“They are the big things we have to show and it is in our hands to do that, no one else’s.

“Looking back to those eight games last season, we had got ourselves into a precarious position.

“The players managed to get themselves out of it and we ended up doing it with a bit of style at the end.

“That is the springboard and now we are standing at the end of the board ready to jump off again.

“Do we produce a high-class jump or a something a bit mediocre? I know the way I think we can go.

“We’ve got a group who is hungry and better than they showed in some parts of last season.”

McAvoy’s big selection issue will be whether to start Daniel Iversen in goal after his arrival from Leicester City on loan this week, or stick with Declan Rudd.

Iversen only featured in two friendlies for the Foxes in pre-season, playing 45 minutes in each.

Tomorrow’s game will be the first time in 518 days the turnstiles will have clicked at Deepdale. The return of fans should have come last week against Manchester United, only for the Red Devils to cancel their visit.

Said McAvoy: “I’ve had four years here as a coach so I know what the ground is like when the fans are in.

“There are some lads here who haven’t had the chance to play at Deepdale in front of the supporters.

“I’ve had some magnificent occasions at Deepdale and hopefully Saturday’s game can be one of those.

“Hopefully absence has made the heart grow fonder for the supporters and they are buzzing to return.”