Frankie McAvoy tells his Preston North End players to enjoy themselves

Frankie McAvoy has urged the Preston North End players to enjoy and embrace the task of securing their Championship status over the next five weeks.

Thursday, 1st April 2021, 8:00 am

McAvoy will be in charge of PNE for the first time against Norwich tomorrow, having been handed the reins after Alex Neil’s dismissal.

It has been a long build-up for the Scot, the international break having afforded him plenty of time on the training pitch to get his ideas over.

He is itching to get going and start the task of getting the points needed to put more daylight between North End and the bottom three.

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Preston forward Scott Sinclair

McAvoy’s focus is trained on the future rather than mulling over what has caused the slide down the table.

“We can’t keep thinking about what has happened in the last few weeks, “ McAvoy told the Lancashire Post. “What we need to do is put that to the back of our minds and concentrate on going forward, deal with the games one by one.

“We’ll look at what we have at our disposal and how we can get the best out of them against Norwich on Friday.

“The one thing I ask of the players is to be as prepared as best they can, put anything that might be in the background to one side and go and play football.

“Enjoy it, football is a lovely sport, a great sport, let’s get the best out of it.

“The work we have done so far has been enjoyable but there is no better feeling than going and winning a game.”

One of McAvoy’s tasks is to get North End scoring again, their forward play of late having fallen short.

They have not found the net in their last three games and since beating Huddersfield on February 27, have scored only twice.

No PNE player has got into double figures yet, Scott Sinclair the club’s top scorer with nine goals.

Sinclair was on target from the penalty spot when PNE drew 2-2 with Norwich at Carrow Road in the reverse fixture in September.

Although McAvoy heads up the coaching staff, he has been keen to stress how much of a team effort it has been behind the scenes.

He has been assisted by Steve Thompson, Paul Gallagher and Mike Pollitt, Gallagher’s transition from player to the staff a big talking point.

Said McAvoy: “Gally will be a big part of what we do and we are allowing him to put his own mark on it.

“He’s been great with the team and I can see him doing very well. It’s a team effort, Gally, Thommo, Mike Pollitt the keeper coach, myself.

“ We’ve got the analysts, the sports science lads and the medical staff.

“There’s a lot of hard work going on to make sure we go in the right direction.”

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