Four things we learned from Preston North End’s defeat at Blackpool

Preston lost out in the Lancashire derby on Saturday, beaten by Blackpool 2-0.

Sunday, 24th October 2021, 4:45 pm

Goals from Keshi Anderson and Gary Madine saw the Seasiders through at Bloomfield Road.

TOM SANDELLS looks at four talking points from the game.

1. Never got going.

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Blackpool’s Kenny Dougall battles with North End’s Alan Browne

Throughout a tough watch of the 90 minutes on Saturday, PNE never really tested Blackpool’s resolve.

The home side started the better of the two, and managed to keep their foot on the gas. In the second half the Lilywhites had a brief period in the game where they looked good, culminating in Ben Whiteman missing a gilt-edged chance that in hindsight changed the game.

Had North End capitalised on their good spell it could have turned the game on its head, in the end however the Seasiders came forward shortly after and made it two.

2. How to change it?

It was clear to see that more was needed from Frankie McAvoy’s side during the game, they needed to be able to impact the game from the bench. Those that they turned to didn’t deliver and the switch to 4-4-2 did not bear fruit either.

Not long after switching to four at the back the game was taken away from them with the second goal, but in their defence Daniel Iversen had little to do.

That also goes for Daniel Grimshaw in the home goal.

Josh Murphy missed out but Tom Barkhuizen was capable of providing pace from the bench. There did not seem to be enough craft or bravery as an option.

3. Calls for Frankie to go.

During the game it was impossible to avoid the PNE fans singing for Frankie McAvoy to go.

He is not a ‘big name’ nor does he have a long track record as a manager – none to be precise.

It was predicatble there would be calls for his head – it was not the full travelling support, but it was more than enough.

McAvoy did not go over to the 2,200 North Enders that made the trip to the Fylde coast. He accepted their view post match, it did not seem to fluster the head coach in his maiden top job.

He will need to keep his cool to get North End back up and running, almost back to the standards he set last season in the eight games he had in charge.

Should he leave, which does not at the moment look likely, the question remains from last season, who stands out as the man for the job?

4. Alan Browne.

The Lilywhites’ skipper saw red in the closing stages of Saturday’s derby, and both his cards were avoidable.

Sent off for two yellows, the Irishman first pulled down Keshi Anderson when it seemed that Sepp van den Berg was well placed to come round to clear, and he received his marching orders for getting involved in a melee.

He ran 10 or 15 yards to defend Sean Maguire after a collision with Callum Connolly and that gave the referee the chance to send him off. They were both avoidable and silly ways to get yourself into the referee’s book – but he was brilliant on the day.

It was an opinion that wasn’t exactly universally accepted when I put it on Twitter, but the North End captain covered every blade of grass and you could see what the derby meant to him.

That is exactly what you want. In fact, he probably got too involved in the occasion and that explains his first yellow, covering when he did not need to.

He seems to be in his best form for some time but that does him no good from the stands for the visit of Liverpool on Wednesday – where a reaction is needed, no matter the opposition.