Formation is the key to Preston North End recruitment says Frankie McAvoy

Frankie McAvoy has an open mind about Preston North End’s formation next season with much depending on this summer’s recruitment.

By Dave Seddon
Friday, 14th May 2021, 8:00 am

A 3-5-2 system worked so well in McAvoy’s interim spell in charge, with PNE gathering 17 points in that time.

They lined up that way in seven of the eight matches, the exception being against Norwich City when a 4-1-3-2 was used.

McAvoy also switched to a back four in the second half of the Brentford game and got taught a lesson as the Bees put five goals past them.

Sepp van den Berg came on loan from Liverpool

Two of the defenders who featured in the run – Sepp van den Berg and Liam Lindsay – are now back at their parent clubs, so too goalkeeper Daniel Iversen.

Head coach McAvoy points out that he will have Patrick Bauer back from injury for the new season, so that might influence things.

McAvoy told the Lancashire Post: “People talk about football philosophies and approaches.

“What you have to do is look at what you have available to you and find the right format and system to suit the players.

“I could easily say, for example, I want to play 4-3-3 with wingers rotating inside but if the players you have don’t suit that, there’s no point playing that way.

“When I got the interim job for those eight games, we looked at what we had available and took things from there.

“We wanted a formation which gave us the best chance of winning games. We knew what was ahead of us and the 3-5-2 worked very well.

“Obviously it is a formation will be fresh in our minds for next season but it depends on the personnel available to us.

“Pat Bauer is going to be back, then we’ll have to see what happens with Liam Lindsay who was on loan here, Sepp too and Daniel Iversen.

“They helped us so much in the eight games so we’ll see what happens.”

It is likely to be a busy summer at Deepdale in terms of shaping the squad.

As things stand, North End have 30 players contracted beyond June 30, including the four scholars who have been taken on as professionals.

Also in that number are the contracted players who have been out on loan – Jayden Stockley, Josh Harrop, Ethan Walker, Adam O’Reilly and Jack Baxter.

Five first-team players were released yesterday, Billy Bodin, Louis Moult, David Nugent, Josh Ginnelly and Graham Burke reaching the end of their contracts next month.

Said McAvoy: “Until last week, our focus was on the games we had to play.

“We’ve now had a chance to sit down and work out what we need going forward into next season.”

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