Preston North End players deserve the credit for achieving Championship safety says Frankie McAvoy

Frankie McAvoy had handed the Preston North End players all the credit for their upturn in form which has ensured Championship football for next season.

Saturday, 24th April 2021, 6:25 pm
Updated Saturday, 24th April 2021, 6:26 pm

The Lilywhites' 1-0 victory over Coventry City at St Andrew's took them on to 55 points and up to 14th place in the table.

It was very much job done themselves rather than having to rely on others for favours, with 11 points gathered from the six games of interim head coach McAvoy's stewardship.

Alan Browne's 67th minute penalty gave them the three points against the Sky Blues.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Preston North End interim head coach Franke McAvoy with Steve Thompson t the final whistle against Coventry

McAvoy said: "That is three clean sheets in a row for us, so credit to the boys they've worked their socks off. I cannot thank them enough because at the end of the day they are the ones who do it on the pitch.

"We are just here to help them, guide them and support them as much as they can, they are the guys who have to execute it.

For the last two games it's still the same target, let's see where we can finish now,

"I said this way back when I was given this opportunity. I said then there were eight games to go, what we will do is take each game as it comes, try and win as many as we can and get as many points as we can. We will see where that takes us.

PNE skipper Alan Browne shares a laugh with Connor Ripley after the victory over Coventry at St Andrew's

"We aren't thinking any differently to that. I know myself I can't please everybody and that is one of the difficult things - I'm having to leave players out.

"That is 11 points from 18, we've done all right."

As for whether he wants the job full-time, McAvoy won't say in public at least. He's enjoying the role but isn't looking beyond the end of the season.

The Scot said: "Peter Ridsdale and Mr Hemmings are the guys who make the decisions, it is up to them.

"I'll continue to do what I'm doing, I like it - I love it - at Preston and it's good when you are winning. It's stressful though!

"We will see what happens at the end of the season."

It wasn't the prettiest of games against Coventry whose safety was also confirmed today - Derby and Rotherham losing meant they can't be caught.

McAvoy admitted North End had to grow into the game, with them better in the second half.

"We knew it was going to be a tough game today, Coventry were in a precarious position like ourselves but had won four of their last five before this one," said McAvoy.

"We have found a system which has helped us pick up points and it worked again today.

"I knew set plays would be a big thing in this game and we had a good opportunity with Sean Maguire in the first half from a long throw in.

"We wanted to be tough to beat and be a threat going the other way.

"To be fair we seemed a wee bit better in the second half, I thought in the first half we weren't great to be honest.

"We worked hard but we had to change a couple of things in the second half and fortunately for us we got the penalty and the goal."

Browne's penalty came after Ched Evans was hauled down by Coventry goalkeeper Ben Wilson.

Earlier in the second half North End seemed to have a decent shout for a spot kick with the same two players involved but that wasn't given.

McAvoy said: "We thought we should have had a penalty before the one we got but referees only get one bite at the cherry. Sometimes they get it wrong.

"After not getting the first one we had to make sure we kept playing away, make sure it didn't affect us and then hope something falls for you next time

"Fortunately that did happen when Ched was involved again and got us the penalty kick."

Thanks for reading. If you value what we do and are able to support us, a digital subscription is just £1 per month for the first two months. Try us today by clicking here