Frankie McAvoy’s message to unhappy Preston North End fans

Preston North End head coach Frankie McAvoy wants a united front between the fans and players in the wake of Tuesday’s defeat at Huddersfield.

By Tom Sandells
Thursday, 19th August 2021, 8:00 am

It was PNE’s third straight defeat in the league to start the Championship season and it leaves them rock bottom of the table ahead of Peterborough United’s visit on Saturday.

There was unrest amongst the fans after the Huddersfield game but there is a clear message from the PNE boss.

“You’re stronger together than apart and I felt the fans were fantastic there on Tuesday night – to a man,” he said.

Fans display a banner at the end of the game

“I’m just so bitterly disappointed that we’re sending them home with nothing, as are the players.

“I don’t think anyone could have faulted us tonight. I think we gave everything we could to go and win the game.

“On another day, you might have got a more positive result. You just need to keep believing that it’ll turn for us and when it does, we need to kick on with some momentum.”

McAvoy was pleased with the players that came into the side despite PNE losing 1-0 to the Terriers.

He sprang a few surprises as he named Josh Earl at left wing-back with Brad Potts starting up front.

It was Earl’s first start for PNE since January whilst Potts was preferred as a striker alongside Ched Evans, ahead of Emil Riis, Sean Maguire and Scott Sinclair, who were all on the bench.

Earl has struggled to find regular starts since breaking into the PNE first team but McAvoy says he is showing exactly what he needs to in order to nail down a spot.

“I thought both wing-backs were great,” McAvoy told the Lancashire Post.

“I thought Josh stepped up to the mark and showed  what he can do. If he puts in performances like that then he’s put himself in a really strong position, I’m delighted for him.

“It was great for Ched to come back in and I thought Potts has done well for us.

“He looks a threat it’s just about getting him in and about that box, then if anything breaks to him he can finish.

“I felt that the two of them worked well with DJ in 

Potts, who is more commonly seen in an attacking midfielder role, was played further forward in Yorkshire.

It was not something done in the heat of the moment as North End’s head coach searched for goals.

McAvoy said: “We’ve looked at him in pre-season and he’s done well.

“He’s a big presence, can bring the ball in and link it off and he can get on runs.

“If he gets opportunities and chances he can finish.

“For me, I was very comfortable with the front two that we put up there on Tuesday.

“I knew that we could keep it alive and keep it up top and was looking for the wing-backs to be aggressive, DJ to break and Ben Whiteman and Alan Browne to support from behind.

“In the main, we did that. We managed to get quite a lot of opportunities without testing the goalkeeper too much. The best opportunity comes to Ched and their lad clears it off the line.”