PNE boss to be patient with Arsenal newcomer Stephy Mavididi

Alex Neil will give Preston North End new boy Stephy Mavididi a settling-in period to help him adapt to life at Deepdale.

The Arsenal loanee made his debut in Tuesday night’s 3-2 defeat at Accrington in the Carabao Cup.

Stephy Mavididi on his debut against Accrington

Stephy Mavididi on his debut against Accrington

Mavididi featured for 53 minutes on the left side of the attack before giving way to Daniel Johnson.

North End manager Neil said: “You have to remember that Stephy is only a young lad still.

“He is going to have to get up to speed quickly in terms of what we want from him.

“The demands which are put on players between 20s football and men’s football are significantly different.

Stephy Mavididi

Stephy Mavididi

“I think he is going to need a settling-in period because he’s come up from London and is only 19.

“We will be patient and use him sparingly until he gets himself ready to show us what he can do.

“The intensity of the game is much higher, the demands and information that he will be given within the structure of the team is much more.”

Mavididi’s experience of first-team football until his arrival at PNE last Friday was limited to five appearances for Charlton in League One earlier this year.

He has come through the Gunners’ academy, with him there since the age of 12 after joining from Southend.

Neil started his career in coaching as a youth coach at Hamilton and says it is a big learning curve between the reserves and first-team.

“Academies are tasked with making individual players, not making teams.

“It doesn’t matter what you win as an academy, the bottom line is that you are getting players through to the first-team.

“Their task is to make the best players, our team at first-team level is to make the best team.

“I started as a coach in youth football.

“When you are a manager of a club, the most important thing is the team.”

Mavididi was in a forward line which featured Daryl Horgan on the right-wing and Callum Robinson in the No.10 slot behind Jordan Hugill.

Horgan caught the eye at Accrington, playing a big part in the counter-attack which led to PNE’s first equaliser.

With Josh Harrop inching his way towards fitness after a calf injury suffered during pre-season, there are plenty of options in the attacking line of the 4-2-3-1 formation favoured by Neil.

PNE head to Elland Road on Saturday to face Leeds United, the side set to closely resemble the one which beat Sheffield Wednesday.