‘Someone with more tactical nous than nice guy Frankie is needed’ says a regretful Preston North End Fans’ Panel member John Smith

On Saturday there were many veterans in the stands who had made plenty of trips to this seaside venue in years gone by.

Sunday, 24th October 2021, 12:30 pm

One of these was a relation of mine who had lived through the glory years of Tom Finney but at 89 years of age was still excited at the thought of this long-awaited duel with our old foes.

Chatting to her before the game she told me the story of a home visit she received from Frankie McAvoy after sending him a letter of congratulations after his full-time appointment in the summer.

We both agreed that we would love our manager to succeed as in her words “he is such a lovely gentleman”.

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However when she pressed me for an opinion on how the game would go I said that we would probably get beaten or at best draw as I had doubts about the quality of this seasons performances.

I have no doubt as Frankie says himself that he works hard and really is trying his best to deliver the best results he can for our club.

But nice guys alone do not win you football matches at this level and personally I feel someone with more tactical nous is needed.

The folly of the powers that be in appointing an inexperienced manager who is still learning the trade has now come home to roost with some fans, after this awful defeat against our local rivals, who will gleefully bask in the delight of this result for many months if not years.

In the first half we lacked any creativity and only looked slightly threatening at 1-0 down when we desperately started lumping high balls in our opponents’ area at the end of it.

We never really looked like even drawing the match apart from when Ben Whiteman burst through but shot wide.

After the substitutions the team must have felt like they were being sent “over the top” by General Melchet with so many attackers on the pitch.

However it proved to be not too much of a cunning plan as any threat was easily dealt with.