Preston North End first team coach Frankie McAvoy praised the Lilywhites’ fine start to the season on home turf as they made it three wins in a row at Deepdale with the 2-1 triumph over Sheffield Wednesday.
A successful penalty in either half from Daniel Johnson saw PNE take a two-goal lead and although Steven Fletcher pulled one back inside the final quarter of an hour, making for a nervy finish, the hosts held on to seal all three points.
And Frankie told iFollow PNE post-match that he felt North End were good value for a third consecutive win in PR1, following the midweek success over Stoke City and the win over Wigan Athletic earlier this month.
“It’s one of the things that Alex was big on [improving home form], saying that we want to make it really, really tough and hard for teams to come here and take three points,” Frankie said. “If teams are going to do that, they’re going to have to work harder than us.
“We’ve started really well. I think the two away games have been a bit disappointing in terms of results, but I think we’ve showed that on our day, we’re capable of doing really well.”
The first team coach was also impressed with how the Lilywhites coped with the visitors’ late pressure, with Fletcher’s 78th-minute effort seeing Wednesday up the ante in search of an equaliser.
“The manager’s game plan is to go out, try and dominate the ball as much as we can, create chances and hopefully get on the end of them.
“I thought we played really, really well and they sort of sat off a bit, they were allowing us the ball and I think their game plan was just to try and hit us on the counter.
“Darnell [Fisher] got done down the right hand side once against the wee boy [Kadeem] Harris, but after that I thought he defended the one-v-ones well and the same with Joe [Rafferty] on the other side against [Jacob] Murphy. That was the pace that they had and I thought we nullified that threat.”
“If you look at our two centre backs that’s playing there [after Patrick Bauer was substituted off], it’s Jordan [Storey] and Ben [Davies] and they’re young. [Andre] Nuhui is a big, big presence, he’s a big threat, a big lad and to be fair, it was three strikers up against our two [centre backs].
“That was why the manager obviously changed our system, to combat [Fernando] Forestieri playing beside [Steven] Fletcher and Nuhui and Jayden [Stockley] come on at centre back and did well.
“We’re delighted with the three points and for a good part of the game we were absolutely delighted with how we played.”
Frankie also spoke of the impact of Daniel Johnson, who has now scored in the last three games, becoming the Championship top scorer with four goals and two assists to his name.
“He’s done brilliantly, absolutely fantastic,” he added. “The good thing about him, he works back the way as well – he’s got energy, he’s got drive, he’s a real threat going forward, he’s technically very, very good.
“In that position, obviously we’ve got Alan Browne, we’ve got [Brad] Pottsy who can play in that position as well, we’ve got Josh Harrop, so we’ve got quite a lot of options.
“The manager, for that area, is happy with where we are in terms of that position and DJ’s done brilliantly.”
Watch Frankie’s post-match thoughts in full now on iFollow PNE.