Preston will relish challenge of taking on unbeaten Baggies at Deepdale
Frankie McAvoy is looking forward to Preston North End taking on a direct and undefeated West Bromwich Albion side at Deepdale tomorrow afternoon.
After Tuesday’s dramatic 2-2 draw at Sheffield United, it’s another team relegated from the Premier League for McAvoy’s men to face.
That is a task which the PNE head coach is relishing as he aims to stretch the unbeaten Championship run to a fifth game.
McAvoy has seen a major improvement in his side since losing three on the bounce in the league at the start of the season.
He feels the balance is far better now, something which Albion will put to the test.
“I don’t want to go back over old ground but the first three games were disappointing,” said McAvoy.
“We have worked to make sure we are defensively more solidbut get the balance right by being aggressive going forward. I think we have found a bit better balance.
“There were a couple of times the other night when playing a high press that we got played through.
“When that happens it is about making sure we can recover and the guys at the back do their job.
“We are offering a threat going forward, getting the wing-backs up is crucial to the way we want to play – getting them up into the box.
“Ryan Ledson and Ben Whiteman both offer us some solidity and security when we don’t have the ball.
“Some of our passing from deep has been excellent and we need that to continue.
“Just at the moment we have got ourselves into a good position and are doing well, now we have to work hard to try and keep it going.”
McAvoy is expected to pick from largely the same squad he did at Bramall Lane in midweek. Scott Sinclair was back at the training ground yesterday after illness but tomorrow’s game could come too soon for him.
Ched Evans is also likely to have to sit this one out as he recovers from a calf injury.
Sharing his thoughts on what the Baggies could offer, McAvoy said: “Valerian Ismael has put his own stamp on it there in a short space of time.
“You can see West Brom are very similar to how Barnsley were last season. That is credit to him and to his players.
“Sometimes it is difficult to change ways but he has done.
“West Brom are undefeated at the moment so they are going to be formidable.
“Some of their players are familiar to us, Callum Robinson and Jordan Hugill for example. They have got other very good players.
“Our main focus is on what we do, we will approach it in a positive frame of mind.
“We are at home and we want to play well.”