Frankie McAvoy update on Preston North End striker Ched Evans and trialist Jamie Thomas

Preston North End head coach Frankie McAvoy says Ched Evans should be back in action soon after he sat out the weekend friendly at Accrington Stanley.

By Dave Seddon
Monday, 26th July 2021, 6:24 pm
Updated Monday, 26th July 2021, 6:26 pm

The striker has been troubled by a case of Plantar fasciitis – inflammation in the tissue on the bottom of his feet.

North End didn’t play him at the Wham Stadium to help the inflammation calm down and he could return for the friendly at Manchester City on Tuesday night (7pm).

McAvoy thinks the issue might have been caused by the firmness of the pitches PNE trained on during their stay in Scotland.

Preston North End striker Ched Evans in action against Celtic

Said McAvoy: “The hard pitches at St Andrews didn’t help a lot of the players in terms of the heat and hardness.

“We left Ched out for the Accrington game because he’s got a wee bit of Plantar fasciitis.

“Keeping him off his feet over the weekend will hopefully have helped him.”

Having started his career with City – he played 26 times for them – Evans will be keen to face them in the behind-closed-doors game at City’s Academy Stadium.

PNE trialist Jamie Thomas (No.34) celebrates his goal at Accrington Stanley

There could be a chance at some point too, for trialist Jamie Thomas to feature.

He is training with North End this week, having come on as a substitute and scored at Accrington.

McAvoy liked what he saw of the 24-year-old attacking midfielder playing for Bamber Bridge against PNE earlier in the month.

With Thomas looking for a return to the professional game after a spell playing in non-league, McAvoy thinks it would be remiss of Preston not to run the rule over him.

“Jamie played here against us for Bamber Bridge and scored a couple of goals,” said McAvoy.

“A lot of clubs around here have been looking to get him in and we thought it was an opportunity for him to come in and train.

“Jamie wanted to come and we wanted to give him that platform.

“Wherever it is going to take us, I don’t know, but he deserves his chance.

“If you don’t give someone a chance you will never know what they can do. He will train this week with us and we’ll see how he does.”

After seeing him play well for Brig against them on July 10 at Euxton, PNE checked him out. McAvoy said: “Jamie was capped for Wales at Under-16s, 17s and 19s, so he is no mug, he’s a guy who knows the game.

“He’s someone who has lost his way a bit and wants to get back in. We know he is a but rusty, he realises that.

“After Bamber Bridge played here, we did a bit of background on him, found out the details we have got.

“During Covid he started to knuckle down and decided this is what he wants to do.

“He wants to get back into full-time football and make a career of it.”

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