Frankie McAvoy praises Preston North End's discipline in their 'massive' win over Derby County
Frankie McAvoy gave Preston North End a big pat on the back for their performance in the 3-0 win over Derby County at Deepdale.
PNE's interim head coach felt his side's discipline had been good in terms of sticking to a game plan and making sure they got the first goal in the game.
Ben Whiteman headed them in front in the 18th minute, with Ched Evans and Ryan Ledson scoring in the second half.
That opening goal from Whiteman was telling, in that Derby's record when falling behind is awful.
McAvoy said: "I thought we were extremely disciplined, we knew it was a big game.
"People kept telling us it was a cup final for Derby County but at the same time it was a massive game for us as well.
"I said to them beforehand that the biggest thing we needed to do was keep our discipline.
"The first goal was going to be crucial in this game, we worked on trying to score that first goal by being as positive as we could.
"Derby's stats were something like 22 games this season they have conceded the first goal and I think they have lost 20 of those and drawn two.
"When we got the first goal Derby had to throw caution to the wind. Give them credit, they started the second half well and went 4-2-4 and really pushed us back.
"We weathered the storm for a good 15 minutes of the second half, had that fantastic save from Daniel Iversen and then we gradually got back into the game.
"I was delighted that we got the second goal and then the third goal just puts the icing on the cake doesn't it?"
Whiteman's goal was his first for North End since a £1.6m move from Doncaster in January, the Rams having been one of the clubs also interested in him.
Getting him further up the pitch had been something McAvoy had been working with the midfielder on.
McAvoy said: "I'd been saying to Ben to try and hit the box more so I was delighted to see him score. It was a great header, he executed it well.
"The same with Ched at half-time, he was spending a bit too much time out wide so I said to him 'get yourself back in that box, that is when you are dangerous'.
"That worked for him because he got his goal. I thought his performance in the second half was excellent. He did really well.
"When we came in with eight games to go we wanted to create more opportunities and to take them.
"It worked for us tonight, we scored three goals, credit to the group.
"They are a good bunch, the camaraderie and spirit they have got is fantastic, I'm delighted for each and every one of them.
"I'm delighted too for Peter Ridsdale and Mr Hemmings who have given me this opportunity and chance.
"They deserve plaudits for it because I know that I wasn't everyone's favourite cup of tea to take it on but I know the players and continuity was a big thing."
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