It's straight down to business for Preston North End's new head coach Frankie McAvoy

Frankie McAvoy is eager to get to work as Preston North End’s new head coach and build on the work done in his eight games in temporary charge.

By Dave Seddon
Tuesday, 11th May 2021, 8:00 am

The 53-year-old Scotsman landed the job yesterday on a full-time basis having guided PNE to a 13th-placed finish on 61 points.

McAvoy was put in charge on March 21 after Alex Neil was dismissed.

Throughout that interim spell he was never favourite with the bookies for the job.

New Preston head coach Frankie McAvoy (photo courtesy of PNE FC)

Inside Deepdale, though, he impressed with his approach to the role and results spoke for themselves.

North End picked up 17 points and over the last six games of the season were joint-second in the Championship’s form table.

McAvoy had an interview via Zoom with PNE owner Trevor Hemmings yesterday.

It was following that call from the Isle of Man that McAvoy was confirmed.

No details have been given yet on the length of contract, although rolling deals have been PNE’s preferred option in recent years.

McAvoy told North End’s official website: “For this to be my first manager’s job is way beyond my wildest dreams and I’m thrilled to bits.

“Hopefully we can have the fans back next season and we can put a team on the pitch that are going to do everything to make Preston North End successful.

“Seventeen points out of 24 was beyond what I thought we could achieve and that is immense credit to the players.

“We have built good foundations for us to build on.”

McAvoy’s job interview formed part of a busy Monday for the head coach.

During the course of the day he met with the players on an individual basis for an end-of-season debrief.

They were all given a summer fitness programmes to work through ahead of a return to training on July 1.

McAvoy will have Paul Gallagher, Steve Thompson and Mike Pollitt by his side in the coaching set-up.

Gallagher has called time on his playing career at the age of 36 to take up the full-time coaching role.

The midfielder still has the legs to continue playing and in seasons gone by could have registered as a player and be ready if needed.

However, the EFL now have limits on squad numbers, with Championship clubs allowed to register 25 players who are aged 21 or over.

It might be that North End fans get the chance to see Gallagher play in pre-season having not been able to do so in person since March 2020.

Gallagher pulled on a PNE shirt 312 times, the first time back in 2007 when he came on loan from Blackburn. He came back in October 2013 on loan from Leicester and signed permanently in July 2015.

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