Preston North End’s tough run of fixtures holds no fear for Frankie McAvoy

Frankie McAvoy recognises the tough start he has to his role as Preston North End’s interim head coach but will not be fearful of it.

Thursday, 25th March 2021, 8:00 am

After the international break PNE will face three of the top four, the toughest of tests with when points need putting on the board.

McAvoy’s former club Norwich come to Deepdale a week on Friday, their other Easter fixture coming at Swansea City.

Brentford then travel to Lancashire on April 10 to complete a tough set.

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Andrew Hughes missed the home defeat against Luton

For McAvoy, there is some encouragement from results in the reverse games earlier in the campaign.

McAvoy said: “If you at 
the previous results, we did well at the start of the season when we played Norwich away.

“We lost against Swansea but did great at Brentford and won down there.

“They are the next three for us but the full focus in on the next one against Norwich, we’ve got the blinkers on for that game.

“This week and next week we will get the players ready and prepare the best we can to make it as difficult for Norwich and as best it can be for Preston.”

McAvoy will hope that 
the break between matches will help get a couple of injuries cleared up in time for Easter.

Andrew Hughes and Greg Cunningham both missed the 1-0 defeat to Luton last Saturday, the game which ended Alex Neil’s reign.

Cunningham had also missed last week’s reverse at Middlesbrough.

Said McAvoy: “The games have been pretty relentless, Covid has made it a really tough and demanding season.

“These international breaks are great providing you don’t have too many players away playing football for their country.

“It gives you a bit of recuperation and time to work on the training pitch which is a great help.

“We will have a look at who is available on a day-to-day basis and go from there.

“Whoever we have got available, we’ll go from there and pick a team accordingly.”

North End got Ryan Ledson back for the Luton game after five weeks out with a torn calf.

He looked a touch rusty in his 86 minutes on the pitch so some more training time should help him.

Ledson had only trained twice before facing Luton but with Alan Browne suspended, it was needs-must to get the midfielder back on the pitch.