Stand-in Preston North End skipper Ryan Ledson full of praise for interim boss

Preston North End midfielder Ryan Ledson says Frankie McAvoy has very much been his own man since taking the role of interim head coach.

By Dave Seddon
Wednesday, 7th April 2021, 8:00 am

Under McAvoy’s guidance, PNE have taken four points from two games to ease any fears of being dragged into a relegation battle.

Easter Monday’s 1-0 win at Swansea and the Good Friday 1-1 draw with Norwich City were both achieved with stoppage-time goals.

When an assistant steps up to take charge they can be viewed as being too similar to the person they have replaced.

Midfielder Ryan Ledson captained PNE at Swansea

However, midfielder Ledson says McAvoy has brought some new ideas to the table since picking up the baton from Alex Neil – Ledson still refers to Neil as ‘gaffer’.

Ledson told the Lancashire Post: “The gaffer was very hands on, he was brilliant, and I haven’t got a bad word to say about him.

“Frankie has come in and has got his own ideas, he’s changed a few things.

“We have gone two up front and we have started to worry about ourselves a little bit more than maybe the opposition.

“In the last two games that has worked, we are a lot happier than we were two games ago.”

Even though McAvoy has stepped up into the higher role, Ledson does not think the interim boss has changed his manner at all.

“Frankie is a bubbly character about the place and a great man,” said Ledson.

“We still call him Frankie, I think it would be disrespectful to Alex Neil to call Frankie ‘gaffer’ at the moment.

“Frankie is Frankie, he has everyone’s respect in that changing room.

“There’s Steve Thompson, Paul Gallagher and Mike Pollitt with him, all have vast experience.

“Gally knows us better than anyone, having been in the changing room with us for years.

“The four of them have been brilliant, everything has been positive and that has shown with the two results.”

Ledson was named skipper for the Swansea game, others who had previously done the job either ruled out of the game or on the bench.

He had worn the armband in the latter stages against Norwich too when Daniel Johnson went off suffering from a calf strain.

Said Ledson: “It was a proud moment for me, I love this club and have loved it all the time I’ve been here.

“I love the lads in the dressing room and for me to lead them out was an honour.

“I really enjoyed it and maybe I can do it again.”

After playing the first and fourth-placed clubs over Easter, PNE now turn their attention to facing third-place Brentford at Deepdale on Saturday afternoon.

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