Interim Preston North End head coach Frankie McAvoy wants to see a reaction at Stoke
Preston North End are ready to put things right after their ‘damaging’ defeat to Brentford when they face Stoke City tomorrow lunchtime.
Frankie McAvoy takes his side to the bet365 Stadium for a 12.30pm kick-off knowing lessons have to be learned from the 5-0 hammering by the Bees last week.
Interim head coach McAvoy will be able to add the experience of Greg Cunningham to the squad for the clash in the Potteries.
The left-sided defender has been missing from the squad for five weeks because of a calf injury but returned to training on Monday.
McAvoy said: “We know we let ourselves down against Brentford so we will be looking for a reaction.
“We know that 5-0 is a damaging result, let’s be honest about that. However, until the 75th minute it was 2-0 and that 75th minute was the deciding factor in the game.
“We were pushing to get the third goal of the game but it was Brentford who got it and from there it became damaging for us.
“Watching the game back, in the second half we were far too open and we were far too aggressive with the changes we made to try and get back into the game.
“The reaction has been great, we had a good chat on Monday and the lads have trained well since.”
With Liam Lindsay unable to face his parent club, there will be a change at the back.
McAvoy will stick with a 3-5-2 but then has a couple of options to replace Lindsay.
“We’ve got Paul Huntington who can come in or maybe we can put Sepp van den Berg in one,” said McAvoy.
“There’s Greg as well, so we’ve got options. We’ve worked on a few things this week and will fine-tune it.”
North End are chasing points to keep clear of the bottom three and this could be a big week for them with the Stoke clash followed by games against Derby and Coventry.
McAvoy says he has tunnel vision in respect of the job of staying safe, in that he only has eyes for PNE’s results.
“If we can do our bit we don’t need to worry about anyone else,” said McAvoy.
“We knew what the task was when we came in with eight games left, to try and win as many games as we could and stay in the Championship.
“The aim with eight games to go is the same now we’ve got five left to play.
“We are four points better off than we were three games ago and our focus is on Preston North End, no one else.
“Over these next five games we want to make progress by getting more points and putting in good displays.”
As well as Cunningham coming back in, North End will have striker Sean Maguire available again.