Preston North End's victory over Celtic a deserved one says Frankie McAvoy

Preston North End head coach Frankie McAvoy felt his side's victory over Celtic was a deserved one.

Saturday, 17th July 2021, 8:27 pm
Updated Saturday, 17th July 2021, 8:30 pm

Ben Whiteman's second-half penalty settled the pre-season friendly in their favour but there were other opportunities for PNE to have found the net over the course of the 90 minutes.

The win at Celtic Park rounded-off a good week in Scotland for McAvoy's squad.

They had trained since last Sunday at St Andrews and on Tuesday night had a hard-fought 1-1 draw at St Johnstone.

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Preston North End's players ahead of kick-off against Celtic

This display at Celtic was a few notches up from that in midweek.

McAvioy said: "I'm delighted with the win. We had to work hard because Celtic make the pitch so big, they work rotations - you have to be big and disciplined to cope with that.

"We worked very hard on the training pitch in the build-up and I thought we did things really well out there.

"I told the lads that if we could get the ball forward, we would cause them issues.

"We just had to be patient when we didn't have the ball so we didn't become undisciplined. In the game we created a lot of chances."

McAvoy used a 3-5-2 formation and his post-match comments point to it being North End's go-to system in the season ahead.

"We have spoken as a group and we think the best structure is the one we played today," said McAvoy.

"It would be folly of me to change that when the players are are used to it and love playing it. Credit to them and the backroom staff for making it work.

"The style is aggressive at times, it is not easy to do to get your wing-backs pressing high up the pitch and the outside centre-backs to go the full way.

"Celtic's front three were so wide at times today that we had to cover a lot of ground."

Izzy Brown made his PNE debt as a 61st minute substitute having missed the first two friendlies.

He got a couple of sights of goal and McAvoy thinks he will be a big asset once he gets fully fit.

McAvoy said: "Izzy is totally different than the others we have got. He's a wee bit off it at the moment but if we bide our time with him we'll get him up to speed.

"You can see he has quality on the ball, he's big and strong. I'm hopeful that with three weeks to go to the start of the season he will be in a lot better shape than he was today.

"It was great to get him on the pitch."

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