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First Team News

McAvoy Credits Squad's Work Ethic

5 October 2017

First Team News

McAvoy Credits Squad's Work Ethic

5 October 2017

Since joining the club as first team coach in July, Frankie McAvoy has been impressed with the work rate of the Preston North End squad.

Alongside manager Alex Neil, the coaching staff have overseen a change in style and mentality in the dressing room at Deepdale, and McAvoy has been delighted with the way the players have repsonded to the changes.

While the players continue to work hard through the international break, McAvoy sat down with iFollow PNE to discuss his time at the club so far and praised the players for their work rate so far this season.

"I think the guys have taken to us really well and Alex's philosophy of how he wants to play football. We've got to be as expansive as we can, go and create, a freedom to go an create and when you don't have the ball, get it back as quick as you can and I think the guys' work ethic to that has been absolutely fantastic.

"To be honest, it's been an absolute joy. We have had an opportunity to win every game that we've been involved in, a couple of the games at the beginning, we were probably a bit unfortunate not to win the games and we probably could have a few points more than we've currently got.

"But I think 20 points from 11 games isn't a bad return and that's credit to the manager, and most of all to the players who have been fantastic."

McAvoy gave an insight into the work that goes on behind the scenes, and was full of praise for PNE boss Alex Neil for the work he puts in to make sure his squad are fully prepared for every game.

"What the manager looks for is play the way you train, they give their all in training and again they give everything on matchday. It's a simple analogy that is used, 'be the best that you can possibly be' whether it be in training or on a matchday, and if the guys do that day in, day out and game in, game out then they won't be far away and that's what the manager has instilled in them.

"You don't get anything for nothing nowadays, you have to work extremely hard to earn the right to win games and the Championship is like that. It's a slog and if you go into games where you're not at it and you're not prepared then it makes life difficult.

"One thing I will say as well in terms of the analysis of the opposition, the manager is extremely methodical in what he wants to do and the players have bought into that.

"Looking at the opposition, breaking them down, what their strenghts are and what areas can we exploit and I don't think there's anybody better in the game, who is so young in terms of him doing that, it's magnificent. It's a real big help to the players on a matchday and these are probably some of the things that supporters and people in the background don't see a lot of.

"There's a lot of work, a lot of preparation that goes into that side of the game and I think he's done really well with that. I think that's why the team have hit the ground running and what we've got to do is continue that after the break and hopefully start picking up points.

"If you can pick points up on the road in the Championship then you're doing ok, and to be quite honest I think beforehand the team probably struggled away from home but the last couple of away games they've won so long may it continue.

As well as a young manager, the PNE squad is primarily made up of young players and McAvoy feels their desire and hunger, alongside the experience in the squad could be key to success.

"The one thing you've got when you've got young players you are looking for them to be hungry. Hunger and desire to go and do well and that's what they've got and they've got it in abundance.

"It's similar to the young players we had at Hamilton Accies but the big thing here as well is there are a lot of experienced players that are here.

"Although they are experienced they are not that old either but you look at the ones that have been missing. We've not seen Tom Clarke because he's been missing from the start, you look at the other key players that have been missing in Greg Cunningham and Paul Gallagher, John Welsh is just coming back in, and you look at some of the younger players that have joined the group as well.

"Josh Earl is 18 years of age playing left back, he's come in and done remarkably well. Ben Davies had been on loan at Fleetwood, he's still young and he's in and he's now played quite a lot of games as a centre back, then you've got Josh Harrop and it's his first full season in terms of coming in and getting involved in the set up.

"Then intergrated with that you've got the new players, the likes of Sean Maguire, Darnell Fisher, Kevin O'Connor who have come in. It's been an absolute breath of fresh air to work with these guys.

"You can see every day, they are hungry and they want to do well and that all goes well for us as coaches and for the club as a whole going forward."

Watch the full extended interview with McAvoy now on iFollow PNE by clicking on the video above.

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