Unbeaten run is worth more than the points at this stage of the season, says Preston boss Frankie McAvoy.

Frankie McAvoy was pleased that Preston North End came out of a tough looking week of fixtures undefeated even though a win evaded them.

Monday, 20th September 2021, 9:05 am
Updated Monday, 20th September 2021, 9:10 am

The weekend’s 1-1 draw with West Bromwich Albion at Deepdale followed draws on the road at Sheffield United and Bristol City.

Points wise, it brought them the same as one win and two defeats would have.

However, PNE head coach McAvoy felt avoiding defeat was a big boost bearing in mind the mood at the club when his side lost their first three games of the season.

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Ben Whiteman scores for PNE against West Brom

McAvoy said: “It’s not a bad return for the week.

“If you lose two and win one, you get three points which is what we have taken.

“But I think the important thing psychologically is that we haven’t lost.

“We came from losing our first three games when people had us dead and buried if I’m being brutally honest.

“Since then the guys have stood up and been counted, that is nine points from the last 15 on offer.

“We are looking okay and I want us to push on from this solid set of results.”

It was a tough test against Albion who bombarded the box with set pieces.

Ben Whiteman’s deflected shot gave PNE a 26th minute lead, before a long throw led to Matt Phillips heading the equaliser in stoppage-time at the end of the first half.

McAvoy said: “Getting the first contact when defending those long throws is massive.

“What was disappointing about their goal was that it was us who got the first contact on the throw.

“It was Andrew Hughes who got his head on it but then we needed to defend it at the back post.

“Before coming here, West Bromwich had scored six goals from long throw-ins.

“They are a big presence but so are we. In the main we stood up to the challenge.

“After they equalised I knew the second half would be a really tough battle and thankfully we came through it to keep our unbeaten run.”

McAvoy reported that Patrick Bauer needed several stitches in a deep cut on his nose caused in a clash with ex-PNE striker Jordan Hugill.

Bauer is likely sit out the Carabao Cup clash against Cheltenham tomorrow.

There was a North End debut for Connor Wickham who came off the bench in the 65th minute.

“Connor hasn’t got blistering pace but we he can do is keep the ball alive and be a big presence,” said McAvoy.

“Even defensively, he got back and headed a few out.

“He gave us a good bit of impetus at a time when West Bromwich were on top.

“I thought Ali McCann was excellent when he came on, you could see his energy and enthusiasm.”

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