Snods plays the system
Preston assistant manager Glynn Snodin says the two friendlies against Bamber Bridge and Chorley presented ideal opportunities to look at different tactical approaches.
The Lilywhites mixed and matched formations in the two games over the weekend, both of which they won 2-1.
At Brig on Friday night, North End started 4-4-2 with a diamond-shape midfield.
They switched to 4-2-1-3 for the second half, using the full squad during the course of the match.
PNE went with a 3-4-1-2 at Chorley, moving to 4-3-3 after the interval.
Snodin told the Evening Post: “It is important to keep the players on their toes when it comes to systems.
“During pre-season, we like to change formations and look at different things.
“We want everyone to get an equal amount of time on the pitch in order to build up their match fitness and that enables us to try systems out.
“When you get into the season, you need to have some variety to your game.
“The Bamber Bridge and Chorley matches were both good workouts, the lads got game time under their belts to add to the work done on the training pitch.
“At Chorley, you saw some good movement from the front three in the second half and that resulted in us scoring the two goals.”
Different combinations were looked at during the two games.
At Brig, Simon Makienok and Jordan Hugill started up front in the first half.
They gave way to Eoin Doyle, Jermaine Beckford and Joe Garner at half-time.
On Saturday against Chorley, Makienok and Beckford were paired together.
Doyle, Garner and Hugill formed the three-man strike force for the second period.
Doyle looked sharp in both games, scoring the second goal at Brig.
Garner and Hugill netted against Chorley, getting on the end of crosses from Paul Gallagher and Ben Pringle.
Such service to the front line was of encouragement to Snodin.
He said: “Ben and Gally are on the same wavelength in terms of their delivery.
“Never mind that was against Chorley, they are capable of doing that in the Championship.
“When games are close, good delivery like that can make all the difference.”
Pringle, Gallagher and Alan Browne were the midfield trio at Chorley for the second half.
In the first period, Daniel Johnson was used in an advanced role, with John Welsh and Ben Pearson doing more of a holding job.
The midfield diamond shape against Bamber Bridge had featured Gallagher deep, Pringle and Browne further forward, with Johnson playing off the front.
With the engine room well stocked, Liam Grimshaw was used in defence in both games.
He came on at right-back on Friday night, then started in a three-man defence the next day at Chorley.
A midfielder by trade, the January buy from Manchester United provides versatility.
Said Snodin: “I think Liam likes to push the ball five yards ahead of him just so he can make a tackle!
“He has loads of spirit about him and is making up for a bit of last time.
“Liam’s had a long time out but is back enjoying himself.”