Frankie McAvoy pinpoints the games which helped him land the Preston North End job

Preston North End head coach Frankie McAvoy has pinpointed two moments as being key in him landing the Deepdale hotseat.

By Dave Seddon
Saturday, 15th May 2021, 8:00 am

One was joyous, the other painful, but both were just as important to McAvoy who was appointed on a permanent basis on Monday after eight games as interim head coach.

The Lilywhites took 17 points with McAvoy in his stand-in role following the sacking of Alex Neil.

And it was how the first of those points came about in the Deepdale clash with Norwich on April 2 which puts a smile on McAvoy’s face.

PNE were jubilant after Brad Potts’ goal rescued a point against Norwich

“We played what people call a diamond that day after working on it on the training field,” McAvoy told the Lancashire Post.

“Looking back it was a bit of bravado. I’ll always remember Brad Potts coming on as sub and scoring that equaliser late in stoppage time.

“There was bit of fortune with a deflection but was a massive turning point for us.

“When you make a change off the bench like that, you want it to have a positive impact.

“We carried that forward into the Swansea game and changed to a back three.”

The one defeat suffered by PNE under McAvoy was a big one, Brentford winning 5-0 at Deepdale on April 10.

After going 2-0 down in the first half, McAvoy went chasing the game after the interval and made a triple substitution.

It backfired with the Bees scoring three late goals as they took Preston’s defence apart.

Said McAvoy: “Brentford was a big learning game for me, I acknowledge that.

“I’d told the players to be a bit patient with what they were doing but I became impatient that day.

“I knew the third goal in that game was important and we were trying to score it. But sometimes when you are trying too hard it doesn’t come off for you.

“It could probably be looked at as a good thing in some ways although it didn’t feel that way at the time.

“It wasn’t a 5-0 game but that is how it finished. It was a harsh lesson.

“In life you should learn from your mistakes. I know I’ll make mistakes, let’s not kid anyone on.

“It’s about keeping those mistakes to a minimum and learning from them.

“We learned from what happened against Brentford – we kept a clean sheet in the next four games.”

When offered the interim role in March, McAvoy gave it plenty of thought and sought the advice of several people close to him. It was a different thought process when accepting the full-time job.

McAvoy said: “It was great to hear when they offered me the head coach role. There was no hesitation from me.”