Preston North End head coach Frankie McAvoy salutes 'miles better' second half in Carabao Cup victory over Mansfield Town.

Frankie McAvoy was delighted to see Preston North End progress to the second round of the Carabao Cup after their 3-0 victory over Mansfield Town last night.

By Dave Seddon
Wednesday, 11th August 2021, 8:00 am

Scott Sinclair scored twice, either side of substitute Emil Riis finding the net.

Sinclair's first goal came in first-half stoppage-time, with Mansfield having caused PNE plenty of problems up until then.

PNE head coach McAvoy said: "Mansfield are a good team, they play a diamond, the pitch is a bit tight and a bit shorter. We knew we would in for a tough game.

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Scott Sinclair celebrates with his Preston North End team-mates after scoring against Mansfield at Field Mill

"We had a great opportunity when Scotty's shot was saved by the keeper, that was the only clear-cut chance we created for much of the first half.

"I thought we needed to be a but better in getting the ball forward, then we managed to get the break just before half-time with the first goal.

"It was a great pass from Sean Maguire, sliding Scotty through and it was a great finish. That gave us a bit of breathing space going into half-time.

"To be honest, we needed to be better in the first half.

"In the second half we wanted a second goal to settle us down and once we got that we showed a bit of class, we managed to keep the ball and move it

"The third goal was the icing on the cake and just before that, Brad Potts' effort came back off the post after a great piece of football.

"I'm delighted all round, I'm delighted for the supporters who turned up in their numbers.

"We were disappointed with Saturday but that's gone. The main thing was that we won this game and got ourselves into the draw for the next round.

"We accomplished that and I'm pleased we did that."

McAvoy's half-time team talk wasn't changed much by Sinclair's 45th minute goals.

The Scot said: "In the first half we didn't do well enough, we started to lose headers at the beginning, balls down the side were causing us a few issues.

"I didn't think we won enough second balls in the middle of the park and didn't retain it well enough.

"We were miles better in the second half in that respect. We started getting the strikers higher up the pitch, the midfielders started got on the ball more, the wing-backs got higher.

"I must say in the first half we got Sepp van den Berg really high up the pitch but unfortunately we didn't create enough."

Sinclair's two goals playing as a central striker certainly gave McAvoy food for thought in terms of future forward lines.

"Scott was our top scorer last season with nine goals," said McAvoy.

"When we got Scotty he was a winger and we're trying to make him more of an inside forward/striker.

"It is about getting that pairing right with the two up top. The two goals for Scotty won't have done him any harm."

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