Frankie McAvoy's praise for Preston North End pair Alan Browne and Joe Rodwell-Grant after Wigan defeat
Frankie McAvoy felt there was plenty he could take from Preston North End's defeat to Wigan Athletic on Friday night.
It was the last of the friendlies played in front of a crowd, with PNE going behind closed doors today for a hastily-arranged game following the cancellation of Manchester United's visit to Deepdale.
North End fell behind in the first half at the DW Stadium to a goal from Will Keane but they equalised soon after half-time through Tendayi Dariwka's own goal.
Stephen Humphrys and Callum Lang found the net to put WIgan 3-1 up, before substitute Joe Rodwell-Grant cut the arrears late on.
PNE head coach McAvoy said: "We knew it was going to be a tough game against a League One team who have brought in quite a few good players. We watched them against Stoke when they beat them 2-1.
"I felt it was a chance to see us play 4-3-3, see how we looked with wingers and a back four.
"I thought we started really well, moved the ball well.
"The disappointing thing was Wigan scored with their first attempt, we needed to be a bit better defensively.
"The biggest plus for me was Alan Browne's performance, he was excellent.
"I thought he looked back to the way that I know he is capable of being, I was really pleased with him.
"Patrick Bauer got 90 minutes while young Sepp van den Berg went in as a left-sided centre-back and got an opportunity.
"Joe Rafferty and Josh Earl were the full-backs, while I got Scotty Sinclair into a wide area where he seems more at ease in terms of playing.
"When we got Scotty on the ball, I thought he looked dangerous."
McAvoy was delighted to see Rodwell-Grant score, the teenager having come on as a 73rd minute substitute.
"Big Joe did magnificent," said McAvoy.
"It was a great pass from Tom Bayliss, puncturing the line between the centre-back and full-back.
"I thought Joe took his goal very well, he showed a lot of composure for an 18-year-old boy.
"He's done really well in the academy and is a handful.
"The big thing is he's a Preston boy and a Preston fan. Joe has been with the club since he was 10 or 11.
"We got a lot of players through 90 minutes, as many as we could, and we've got a closed doors game next which is our focus."
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