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.

Saturday, 31st July 2021, 12:30 pm

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.

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Preston North End head coach Frankie McAvoy on the touchline at Wigan's DW Stadium

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."

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