Preston North End front pair Ched Evans and Tom Barkhuizen catch Frankie McAvoy's eye in the win over Barnsley

Preston North End interim boss Frankie McAvoy was encouraged by what strike duo Ched Evans and Tom Barkhuizen offered during the victory over Barnsley.

By Dave Seddon
Monday, 3rd May 2021, 12:30 pm

McAvoy paired them up for a second time in the 2-0 win at Deepdale.

He’d previously played them together against Derby and been pleased with how they linked-up that night.

In the game in between, the 1-0 win over Coventry, McAvoy had switched Barkhuizen to left wing-back.

Tom Barkhuizen and Ched Evans celebrate Preston North End's second goal against Barnsley at Deepdale

Against Barnsley Evans scored the second goal, getting on the end of a flick from Jordan Storey who had met a long throw in from Barkhuizen.

It was Evans’ fifth goal in PNE colours, with him now the club’s joint second leading scorer with Brad Potts in Championship action.

Previous to that, he netted seven goals for Fleetwood in the first-half of the season.

McAvoy said: “Ched was a handful. He worked his socks off and I couldn’t have asked any more of him to be honest.

PNE's Tom Barkhuizen gets in front of Barnsley pair Michael Solbauer and Romal Palmer

“In that front two it is about trying to get that balance right and getting speed down the side of Ched so we can be a threat in behind.

“That is why we went with Tommy B. It was the same side which we played against Derby and I thought they deserved to go again. They turned up trumps.”

McAvoy has started with three different front pairings in his seven games in charge.

For the first four he had Emil Riis next to Evans, while at Coventry Sean Maguire was Evans’ partner.

North End’s final game of the season is at Nottingham Forest on Saturday, all the Championship matches having a 12.30pm kick-off.

McAvoy will aim to finish his interim head coach tenure on a high at the City Ground by collecting an 11th away win of the season.

Victory over Barnsley ensured the Lilywhites ended the season with seven wins at Deepdale – never before in a 46-game season had they finished with fewer than seven.

Centre-half Storey, who opened the scoring against the Tykes, became the 16th North End player to score in the league this season.

It was only the fourth goal of his career and the second for PNE – he’d found the net in a 4-1 win at Queens Park Rangers in January 2019.

Storey has enjoyed a run of 17 starts since getting back into the side. He’s started 23 league games and come off the bench three times.

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