Preston have concerns over the fitness of Tom Barkhuizen

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Preston North End are waiting  for the diagnosis on the injury suffered by Tom Barkhuizen in the draw with Fulham.

The wing-back took a hefty blow to his left shin and ankle after being caught by a rash challenge from Antonee Robinson.

It earned the Fulham man a yellow card from Premier League ref Chris Kavanagh but the consensus at Deepdale was it should have been red.

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Former PNE manager Alex Neil was on pundit duty for Sky Sports and he was adamant it was a sending-off.

Preston North End wing-back Tom Barkhuizen walks to the tunnel with physio Matt JacksonPreston North End wing-back Tom Barkhuizen walks to the tunnel with physio Matt Jackson
Preston North End wing-back Tom Barkhuizen walks to the tunnel with physio Matt Jackson

It was an assessment which fellow pundit Neil Harris agreed with.

However, commentator Don Goodman claimed it was a good tackle, despite Robinson having challenged from behind in a scissor-like style to halt Barkhuizen’s run towards the box.

Lilywhites head coach Frankie McAvoy was on the far side of the pitch from the incident and his first thought was that it was a booking.

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However, after looking at the replay, McAvoy felt it could quite easily have been red.

McAvoy said: “Barky was put in a protective boot and he’ll need an X-ray.

“It’s bit of both with his shin and ankle and we’ll have to see what comes back.

“I was 70 yards away from it and I thought when it happened it was a yellow card.

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“When it happened I was trying to see if he had hit the box and it was a penalty.

“Having looked back at the tackle, it could have been a red card – it was a bad challenge.”

McAvoy saw the PNE defence disrupted from start to finish on Saturday.

Patrick Bauer was ruled out with a tight hamstring and Achilles, with him failing a morning fitness test.

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Liam Lindsay was drafted into the heart of the back three and did a fine marking job on Cottagers’ leading scorer Aleksandar Mitrovic.

When Barkhuizen limped off – he had carried on for a couple of minutes after Robinson’s challenge – Jordan Storey came into the defence with Sepp van den Berg moving to wing-back.

In stoppage-time, Andrew Hughes limped off and Greg Cunningham replaced him.

“Hughes just felt something high up and he came off,” said McAvoy.

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“Hopefully Pat Bauer will be back in contention for the Blackburn game.

“Pat had a similar issue to when he played at Nottingham Forest and we had to take him off after 17 minutes.

“This wasn’t the game to take risks, we had to make sure those who started could go for as long as possible.”

McAvoy was pleased with PNE’s display once they had settled into the game.

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“We played well and I’m actually a bit disappointed we didn’t take the three points,” said McAvoy.

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