Fans’ Panel’s John Roper says Preston North End must get defeat out of their system
A horror show at home by North End will bring interim coach Frankie McAvoy right back down to earth after an almost dream start in charge at Deepdale.
Beaten 5-0 and it could have been a few more as PNE slowly withered after going two down in 25 minutes, only to be severely punished late on in the game. To be fair North End started the game well and no one could have predicted such a beating early in the game.
Once the second goal went in for Brentford, Preston never really looked liked troubling the scorers.
After the break McAvoy changed the personnel and the shape just a few minutes in but I actually thought it made us less likely to score and not more likely.
We were chasing the game in the last quarter when the visitors scored three times but I thought we made life difficult for ourselves on a day when the stark reality of life in the Championship came back to Deepdale.
McAvoy kept faith with the side that had that excellent victory at Swansea on Easter Monday with Alan Browne and Anthony Gordon coming back into the squad on the bench. It was 3-4-1-2 once again and we started the game on the front foot.
There was a half chance at either end but as early as the eight minute it was the visitors who took the lead. Barkhuizen caught on the right and the ball was put over for Mbeumo to sneak behind Van den Berg and slot home.
North End fought back with a Potts shot and a Riis blockbuster that was well blocked. Barkhuizen then had a shot over but on 26 minutes North End were two down. After the break it was the visitors doing all of the attacking.
Two deflected shots and two good saves from Iversen all in the space of the first five minutes of the second half was a sign of things to come for North End.
McAvoy made three changes early in the second half with Gordon, Sinclair and Browne replacing Riis, Potts and Lindsay but in all honesty it made little difference as North End switched back to a 4-2-3-1.
Toney made it three for the Bees with fifteen minutes to go as North End looked all over the place. Canos tapped in for a fourth and when Marcondes fired home at the far post and Brentford had gone nap. So the terrible trio of games is over and whilst it is difficult to forget a 5-0 defeat at home North End must keep their heads up and keep looking at the big picture.
We only need one more win to be safe and so as hard as it may be, we need to draw a thick black line under this performance once the manager has had the inquest with the players on Monday morning.
It is a long time since I have seen a North End defence as much at sea as they were in this game and perhaps the 3-5-2 might be the way forward for these last five games.
There is still work to do though and McAvoy can show his worth by flushing this horror show out of everyone’s system.
Finally all credit to Brentford who looked classy on the ball and were far, far too good for North End on the day.