Preston North End boss Frankie McAvoy not afraid to match the system to the game

Preston North End head coach Frankie McAvoy is not against switching formation but feels he must do what is best for his side from game to game.

By Tom Sandells
Saturday, 20th November 2021, 8:00 am

This afternoon his team will come up against a Cardiff City side that prefer to use a three-at-the-back system.

That is similar to McAvoy’s own usual tactic and a match-up that has suited PNE in the past.

The Scot has spoken previously about struggling when coming up against four at the back and mulled over whether or not to switch things around for the Lilywhites.

North End head coach Frankie McAvoy

That option is unlikely to be taken this weekend as new Cardiff head coach Steve Morison has opted for a 3-4-3 since taking interim charge.

Morison was placed in full-time charge until the end of the season last weekend.

McAvoy feels that you must take each game on its own merits when deciding the system and he is not just picking the 3-5-2 no matter what.

He told the Lancashire Post: “We’ve looked at the four, we’ve tried it and we’ve looked at a three.

“There is nothing closed in whatever system we play. At the moment, what has served us best is our back three – or back five – defending, depending on what side of the fence you sit on.

“There are quite a lot of teams that play that system, what you’ve got to do is play whatever you think is best for your team and whatever is best for the game you’re playing.

“We know how Cardiff set up and we’ll prepare the best that we can to go out there and win the game.” 

It will be Morison’s first game in permanent charge of the Bluebirds since his appointment was confirmed.

He had previously taken charge of three games before the international break, winning, drawing and losing once. He has since bolstered his backroom staff in the past week.

It is a similar scenario to McAvoy himself, who was appointed interim head coach before being appointed full time after taking 17 points from a possible 24 at the end of last season.

He said: “Sometimes change happens and you galvanise and dig in.

“Steve has had a chance to put himself in for the job and he will be hoping that the players give their best for him.

“I believe in the group of players that I’ve got to be higher up that league.

“Hopefully we can start moving up the league on Saturday. Anybody is capable of beating anybody, it will be a tough fixture.

“We went there last season and were beaten heavily, although I think we missed two penalties.

“We are at home, we’re in good fettle and hopefully we can go and win the game.”