Frankie McAvoy praises Preston North End's 'fantastic' end to the season which culminates in victory at Nottingham Forest

Frankie McAvoy has heaped credit on the Preston North End players for their strong finish to the season which culminated in victory over Nottingham Forest.

Saturday, 8th May 2021, 4:06 pm
Updated Saturday, 8th May 2021, 4:12 pm

PNE won 2-1 at the City Ground, Tom Bayliss and Liam Lindsay finding the net in the second half after Manchester United loanee James Garner had fired Forest in front from 25 yards in the first period.

It was a fourth victory on the bounce for North End, their best winning sequence of the season, with McAvoy collecting 17 points from his eight games in charge as interim head coach.

McAvoy said: "It is credit to the players, we knew we were in a precarious position.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Tom Bayliss celebrates with his team-mates after equalising for Preston North End against Nottingham Forest

"Thankfully we have managed to galvanise ourselves and turn round a really good set of results.

"We've got 17 points from 24 which is a fantastic, conceding one goal in five games and that was a 25-yard wonder strike.

"The players deserve immense credit."

Whether McAvoy lands the top job on a permanent basis is something North End will make a decision on in due course.

PNE interim head coach Frankie McAvoy on the touchline at the City Ground

The 53-year-old Scotsman's claim is a strong one though, with five wins, two draws and one defeat.

McAvoy said: "I will meet the players on Monday, have a chat with them in end-of-season meetings.

"It is up to them (the club) when they want to make that decision. They know that I have thoroughly enjoyed my time here.

"I love Preston, my family are settled here. It is up us to Mr Hemmings and Peter Ridsdale what they decide going forward.

"Whatever happen will happen, I'm absolutely comfortable with it, I have no regrets whatsoever.

"I'm delighted for the Preston fans that on Gentry Day we have managed to turn in a decent second-half performance and get another win."

North End very much played second fiddle to Forest in the first half, with the home side deserving of their half-time lead.

McAvoy had brought Bayliss and Scott Sinciair into the side, replacing Tom Barkhuizen and Ben Whiteman.

"We didn't do well enough first half to be honest, I thought we were a wee bit lethargic," said McAvoy.

"We'd started okay and had a good chance which Ched Evans headed over but for the rest of the first half we didn't play well enough, we didn't keep the ball well enough.

"We struggled in terms of getting up to support Ched and Scotty Sinclair. We then changed it in terms of getting two players playing in the pockets behind Ched.

"It still didn't work well enough in the first half so it was a case of getting them in and having a chat with them.

"In the second half we managed to do the things we asked of them which was great.

"Forest were better than us in the first half, their goal was a wonder goal, a fantastic strike from the lad Garner.

"At the same time we needed to get out and shut down the shot quicker.

"Thankfully in the second half we were miles better."

Sinclair played a big part in Bayliss' equaliser, running on to a Ryan Ledson pass which Evans had dummied.

McAvoy said: "We were trying to get Scotty in good pockets in between Christie and Soh the centre-back rather than just being caught outside them because he makes those good darts.

"Ched did brilliantly with the dummy and Scotty went through. I thought he should have scored himself but he'd done well to drive forward.

"In the second half he was good and a real nuisance, he picked up great areas and even defensively he found himself in the game."

Thanks for reading. If you value what we do and are able to support us, a digital subscription is just £1 per month for the first two months. Try us today by clicking here

"