Second Easter test for Preston North End interim head coach Frankie McAvoy at Swansea City

After sampling life as the top man for the first time, Preston North End interim head coach Frankie McAvoy will get a second helping  today.

By Dave Seddon
Monday, 5th April 2021, 7:00 am

McAvoy takes PNE to face Swansea City bidding to become the first Lilywhites boss to have something to show from a trip to the Liberty Stadium (3pm).

Five previous visits to that corner of South Wales have resulted in five defeats, that being a trend North End could do with reversing.

Good Friday’s Deepdale clash with Norwich ended in a 1-1 draw, Brad Potts’ 95th minute equaliser earning a point in McAvoy’s first match at the helm.

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It was a tough encounter against the Championship leaders, and Swansea on their own patch is another big test for the Scot as he looks to guide PNE up the table.

After many years of being on Alex Neil’s coaching team, McAvoy admitted being in charge in the technical area felt different.

It meant the emotion felt when Potts’ late leveller went in, was even greater.

McAvoy said: “It definitely felt different, I understand now the way Alex and all the other managers and coaches feel when their sides are on the pitch.

Preston North End interim head coach with midfielder Ryan Ledson

“You’ve worked on certain things and asked the players to do things, so you really want to see those pay off.

“The one thing I will always say to the players is to give it everything you have got.

“If you do that and can be a threat going forward, you never know what might happen.

“I’m sending out the lads to try and be solid and to create scoring opportunities.

“When those come along, they need to be as clinical as possible in the box.

“Against Norwich I thought we gave it everything and us keeping going right to the end got the reward.”

With the relatively quick turnaround between games ob the Easter weekend, McAvoy might be tempted to tweak the line-up at Swansea.

Against Norwich he went with a 4-1-3-2 system which in affect was a diamond-shaped midfield.

McAvoy liked what he saw from having two strikers up front in Emil Riis and Ched Evans but felt there was work to be done in respect of the midfield behind.

Whether Potts scoring the equaliser after coming on as substitute will earn him a start, remains to be seen.

North End are unlikely to have Greg Cunningham back for today.

The left-back has missed the last four games, the exact nature of the injury not having been disclosed.

McAvoy said after the Norwich game that Cunningham was making progress but Swansea was likely to come too soon.

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