Substitutions backfired on us admits Frankie McAvoy after Preston North End's five-goal drubbing by Brentford

Preston North End interim head coach Frankie McAvoy admitted a triple substitution backfired on him in the heavy defeat to Brentford at Deepdale.

Saturday, 10th April 2021, 6:33 pm
Updated Saturday, 10th April 2021, 6:36 pm

The Lilywhites were beaten 5-0 by Thomas Frank's side, three of the visitors' goals coming in the last 14 minutes.

McAvoy started with a 3-5-2 system but early in the second half changed to a 4-3-3 to try and change the game.

Brentford were able to pick them off at will in those closing stages, Ivan Toney together with substitutes Sergi Canos and Emiliano Marcondes finding the net.

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In a more even first half, Bryan Mbeumo and Marcus Forss had scored for the visitors.

McAvoy said: "We try our best to win each game we play in. I thought the team which played so well against Swansea last Monday deserved to start the game today.

"Brentford actually changed their system to a 3-5-2 which was the first time this season to sort of match us up.

"The difference in the first half was that they showed the quality in the final third with the chances they got and scored two clinical goals from their point of view but it was poor defending on our part.

Preston North End interim head coach Frankie McAvoy makes a triple substitution during the defeat to Brentford

"So for how well we defended at Swansea, we didn't defend well enough today, individually and as a group.

"I always knew the third goal in the game would be crucial. At half-time I spoke to the lads and said we were 2-0 down the last time we played Brentford and managed to win.

"Two-nil is a funny scoreline, if you get the next goal you are always in the game but if you concede it then it becomes a difficult task.

"I waited until about 53 minutes, 54 minutes and then I thought we needed to try and get the goal to get back into it.

Frankie McAvoy on the touchline at Deepdale

"We went with the three up top and went with a back four.

"You get plaudits when the substitutes work for you but they didn't work this time. The third goal was the killer in the game because we were so gung-ho in trying to get back in the game.

"I take that, I'm the person who makes the changes. I was trying to get us back into the game, at least try and get a point out it.

"Sometimes that can backfire and unfortunately it backfired today."

In the first half North End had gone toe-to-toe with Brentford but were twice undone down their left hand side, Brentford's right wing-back Mads Roerslev setting up both goals.

McAvoy said: "Credit to them in the first half I thought we gave as good as we got. When we changed it to try and get back, it worked against us.

"I was hoping the quality we put on with Anthony Gordon and Scotty Sinclair up the sides of Ched Evans, and Alan Browne breaking forward, was a chance to get at their back three.

"Unfortunately it didn't materialise.

"The one thing I have learned is that we didn't defend well enough as a back four and I think if I'm honest, looking at the three games I think we are better suited with a back three and two up top. That was clear today."

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