Preston North End head coach relieved to take a point from Championship clash with Stoke City

Frankie McAvoy felt Preston North End's point against Stoke City was a hard-earned one considering his side played second fiddle to the Potters.
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The 1-1 draw at Deepdale was a fifth Championship draw on the spin, the unbeaten run in league and cup now nine matches.

Some of the draws in that run have been opportunities missed but McAvoy was pleased to come out of Tuesday night's clash unscathed.

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Stoke took an early lead through Nick Powell and were the better side for long spells.

Preston North End head coach Frankie McAvoy during the game against Stoke City at DeepdalePreston North End head coach Frankie McAvoy during the game against Stoke City at Deepdale
Preston North End head coach Frankie McAvoy during the game against Stoke City at Deepdale

Ben Whiteman equalised in the 37th minute with a well-struck free-kick from the edge of the 'D'.

McAvoy said: "To be honest I felt it was a good point in the end.

"Stoke in the first half caused us a lot of issues, they were the dominant team.

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"It took us a bit of time to get the press right against Stoke's 3-4-3 with the two 10s.

"When we dropped Sean Maguire back with Daniel Johnson and went with two 10s ourselves and Emil Riis as the No.9, we got better.

"We equalised with Ben Whiteman's free-kick which I was delighted with but before that Daniel Iversen had made a great save just before to keep us in the game.

"I felt in the second half we grew into it a bit more.

"But Stoke I thought were the best side we have played this season, they caused us more issues than anyone had done.

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"So over the piece I thought this was a game where I could be delighted with a point."

Turning his thoughts to Whiteman's goal, the second free-kick the midfielder has scored with this season, McAvoy was pleased to see it hit the back of the net.

"It was an excellent strike, Ben has got that in his locker," said McAvoy.

"The goal came at a good time for us, just before half-time."

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McAvoy was forced into one change to the starting XI, Andrew Hughes missing out with a toe injury suffered at Birmingham last Saturday.

He also revealed Jordan Storey had been a doubt before the game.

The Scot said: "Unfortunately we couldn't get Hughesy right for this game, it was too soon.

"Jordan had been strugglling too, he had a back spasm which the physio had to work hard on to get him on the pitch.

"So for Jordan to have got through the game was very good."

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