Frankie McAvoy happy with progress being made by his Preston North End side
Frankie McAvoy is of the view that Preston North End are moving in the right direction when it comes to developing as a squad.
The Lilywhites made it seven points out of the last nine available with Saturday’s goalless draw against Bristol City at Ashton Gate.
It was a first away point on the board at the third time of asking and better finishing could have seen them come home with all three points.
PNE head coach McAvoy said: “We are learning and developing, and seem to be progressing fairly decently as a team.
“I’m happy with that, we have made a couple of additions and the aim is to kick on from here.
“There were parts of the Bristol City game that I was very pleased with.
“We went there to try and win against a team who were coming off a good result like ourselves.
“For a nil-nil, I thought it was an open game, two teams who were desperately trying to win it but also making sure they weren’t going to lose.
“That’s not easy because one lapse of concentration can cost you. That did happen once to us when we got caught on the ball but we managed to clear it up.
“Something we had talked about was to get the wing-backs high up the pitch, try and get them into the opposition box.
“We did that, I thought Josh Earl was excellent in the second half and Sepp van den Berg excellent in the first.
“A couple of chances fell to Sepp and with the first one he probably should have gone across goal rather than shoot at the near post.
“That is all part of the development I’ve been talking about.”
McAvoy chose to use new signings Ali McCann and Josh Murphy from the bench in the closing stages. The fact he stuck with an unchanged XI was not a surprise considering how well they had played against Swansea.
Said McAvoy: “The guys were excellent in the last game and I put my faith and trust in them, players need that belief.
“Ali and Josh got their first taste of it during the second half in terms of getting on the pitch. They will do well here, it might just take them a bit of time to adjust.”
McCann replaced Ryan Ledson in the 73rd minute as part of a double substitution which also saw Alan Browne come on for Emil Riis.
Murphy came on for Daniel Johnson six minutes later, the fact it was star turn Johnson going off a surprise.
McAvoy said: “When I had brought Ali and Browney on, I’d gone one up front and two behind him after Bristol City had gone three at the back.
“I was trying to win the game with the last sub but unfortunately it didn’t work.”