Preston North End’s Danish striker Emil Riis playing with confidence says head coach

Frankie McAvoy thinks Emil Riis is getting his mojo back and he is determined to keep the Preston North End striker in that frame of mind.

Friday, 13th August 2021, 8:00 am

McAvoy’s men make the trip to Reading tomorrow after a mixed start to the season, a 4-1 defeat to Hull on the opening day followed by Tuesday’s 3-0 win at Mansfield in the Carabao Cup.

The PNE head coach has plenty to think about in terms of his selection – a mixture of keeping faith with some who featured against Hull and picking the best bits out of the Mansfield win.

Riis scored on the opening day but only lasted until the interval, then he came off the bench in midweek to net.

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Frankie McAvoy after the midweek win at Mansfield

McAvoy told the Lancashire Post: “Emil is a confidence player.

“He came to the club and started really well. Sometimes you get that instant impact with people and then things don’t go as well and they start to lose their way a bit.

“Not every player you can give a rollicking to, some don’t take that well.

“Emil needed belief and trust shown in him. I have tried to do that.

“Anyone who had seen him in that spell prior to Alex (Neil) moving on, could see that Emil had lost his way a little bit.

“He seems to have found his mojo at the moment and we need to keep nurturing it.

“For me at the moment, Emil is doing well and we have got him in a good place.

“Him and Scott Sinclair have scored four goals between them so far which gives me some thinking to do.”

Like PNE, tomorrow’s opponents Reading were beaten on the opening day, losing 3-2 at Stoke.

They also lost in midweek to Swansea in the Carabao Cup, although made 10 changes.

Said McAvoy: “Veljko Paunovic has done very well with them, he has a good group of players there.

“Reading lost Michael Olise to Crystal Palace who is a very good player but they have brought in another young boy Femi Azeez who did excellent against Stoke.

“They aren’t a bad team and like us, they had a result which went against them on the first day.”