Preston North End boss Frankie McAvoy will keep an eye on injuries to centre-back duo

Frankie McAvoy will keep an eye on the treatment room as he looks to shape Preston North End’s defence for the trip to Queens Park Rangers this weekend.

Thursday, 30th September 2021, 8:00 am
Updated Thursday, 30th September 2021, 8:31 am

The Lilywhites’ head coach was without Andrew Hughes for Tuesday night’s 1-1 draw with Stoke and only the good work of the medical staff got Jordan Storey on the pitch.

Hughes had played every game of McAvoy’s tenure going back to April but a toe injury suffered at Birmingham saw that run end.

Fellow defender Storey was suffering from a back spasm which required plenty of attention to get him into the right shape to face Stoke.

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Greg Cunningham in action for Preston North End against Stoke at Deepdale on Tuesday night

Greg Cunningham came in for Hughes on the left side of the back three and will be on standby to do so as North End wait for an update on the Welshman’s fitness. McAvoy told the Lancashire Post: “Hughesy got the injury in a challenge with Troy Deeney.

“We had to inject it during half-time at Birmingham to get him through.

“Once it had been cleaned up we were hoping he would be okay for Stoke but in the end it wasn’t worth the risk.

“We had to prepare for the Stoke game without him and with Jordan struggling a bit.

“He had a problem with his back, a spasm in it, the physio had to work hard with him to clear that up.

“When you consider how Jordan was with his back, he did very well against Stoke.

“I thought Greg came in and did well, he was a good fit to play on that side of the defence.

“Greg almost scored in the second half with the shot from 25 to 30 yards which only just went wide.”

Cunningham for Hughes was the first change McAvoy had made to the starting XI in the league in September. He might be tempted to freshen things up at QPR, to give North End some fresh energy for one last push ahead of the international break.

Meanwhile, ticket sales were starting this morning for the derby at Blackpool on October 23.

PNE have been allocated only 2,200 seats at Bloomfield Road, with demand to outstrip supply greatly.

Ambassadors – those who have held a season ticket continuously since 2012/13 (excluding 2020/21) – will have first priority, starting this morning and running through to 5pm on Saturday.

Any tickets remaining will be sold on a priority points basis from Monday morning.

The details of that priority are to be decided over the weekend once the first batch of sale ends.

PNE, who had asked for a bigger allocation, have got permission from Blackpool for a live beam back to Deepdale and are now awaiting the green light from the EFL.