Players already focused on returning to action with Preston North End says boss

Frankie McAvoy thinks he will see plenty of the Preston North End squad over the next couple of weeks as they get ready to start pre-season training.

Tuesday, 8th June 2021, 8:00 am

Although the official return date is July 1, the players all have fitness plans to work to during the summer break.

Some of them go through their paces at home, others choose to come in and use the club’s facilities.

Three of McAvoy’s squad are doing rehabilitation work this summer after injuries brought last season to an early end – Daniel Johnson Patrick Bauer and Declan Rudd,

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Daniel Johnson will be fit to start pre-season training after a calf injury at the end of last season

Head coach McAvoy says all three should be ready to start training with the rest three weeks on Thursday.

McAvoy told the Lancashire Post: “Officially we are back on July 1 but you will always see lads before then. Some of them like to come in and use the gym, we’ve got the injured lads who are doing their work.

“Between now and July 1 we’ll see quite a few of them at some stage.

“I’ve been in and out of the club over the summer and there’s been lads in.

“What is important is that they are in good shape to start training on July 1.

“The lads do deserve their summer break. Last season they only had a couple of weeks off because things finished so late.

“So in a way there’s been a bit of catching-up to do. It’s been a chance to have a rest and recover from starting last season quite soon after finishing the previous one.

“I don’t know if any of them have had a chance to get away but the main thing is they get a good rest.

“I’m looking forward to them all being back together and getting ready for the new season.”

Midfielder Johnson was only available for one of McAvoy’s games as interim boss last season – the first against Norwich on April 2.

The 28-year-old damaged a calf muscle in the 1-1 draw and struggled to fully shake it off.

In the final couple of weeks of the campaign McAvoy felt it better to have Johnson focus on getting fully right for the 2021/22 season rather than rushing back.

Bauer and Rudd were much longer-term injuries, out since December and January respectively.

Said McAvoy: “We were without Pat and Declan for a long time, while DJ was injured at the back end of the season. They are three very good players who we want available.

“They will be getting themselves ready to start training on July 1 and it will be great to have them back with us.

“Pat and Declan were both out for a long time and they will be desperate to get back out there.”