Preston North End striker Ched Evans will be eyeing a starting place when action resumes after the international break

Ched Evans could have played his way back into a starting role when Preston North End resume action after the international break.

By Dave Seddon
Wednesday, 23rd March 2022, 8:00 am

Lilywhites manager Ryan Lowe felt the performance of the Welsh striker as a substitute at Luton Town last week was a rare highlight on a grim night.

Evans came off the bench at half-time together with Josh Murphy and caught Lowe’s eye, although by then the game was lost.

He’d also been a substitute at Cardiff the game before, leading scorer Emil Riis preferred alongside Cameron Archer.

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Preston North End striker Ched Evans

After North End have fired blanks in the last two matches, Lowe will want a reaction going forward at Derby County a week on Saturday and then in the Lancashire derby with Blackpool three days later.

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Lowe said: “I thought Ched was fantastic when he came on at Luton.

“He hustled and bustled, got his body in there, he sort of let Luton worry about him.

"In the first half we didn’t get enough of the ball at the top end, we lost the ball so many times.

"Ched gave us something, as did Josh Murphy to be fair to him.

"By that stage it was a case of getting more attacking players on the pitch, what was done at one end was done.

"Ideally we just wanted a goal or two to make things look a bit better.”

Lowe has swapped and changed up front, alternating between Evans and Riis as a partner for Aston Villa loanee Archer.

The goals have dried up somewhat of late, with three scored in the last five matches. Taking things further back, it’s seven in the last 10.

On the injury front, North End sent Ali McCann away on international duty with Northern Ireland after the Luton game with a battered and bruised nose.

The 21-year-old played out of position at left wing-back against Luton and it was a painful experience.

He got a blow in the face and needed patching up by the side of the pitch after having a nose bleed.

McCann lasted until half-time before making way.

Lowe said: “Ali had to come off because his nose would not stop bleeding.

"He took a right whack on his nose and it caused him some problems, we didn’t want to take any more risks with him.”