Brad Potts always knew Everton would provide a stern test for Preston North End this afternoon but said that his priority was getting more minutes under his belt ahead of next Saturday’s return to Championship action against Swansea City.
The Toffees were 2-0 winners on Merseyside with Jonjoe Kenny and Dominic Calvert-Lewin the goalscorers but the game was not without its opportunities for the Lilywhites.
Speaking to iFollow PNE post-match, the No.44 noted the quality of the Premier League side in North End’s final pre-season friendly of the summer.
“We knew it was going to be tough today,” he said. “Everton have a really good squad, they will be looking to finish in the top ten, maybe even higher this season.
“They’ve showed today the quality they have. It was tough today, it was probably more getting minutes in and that’s the best way to look at it, it was a tough game.
“You look at the Premier League teams and they are ruthless in the final third and I think that is the difference. When you give it away or when they do split a line, they do tend to punish you.
“I think Everton actually caught us a bit off guard, I don’t think we expected them to actually be as good as they were. But you know five minutes in when they’re threading the through balls, you think ‘it’s going to be a tough day’. On the whole it was a good run out.”
The visitors grew into the game late in the first half and had a goal ruled out for a marginal offside decision on the hour mark as Potts admitted might have panned out differently but for better finishing and decisions going their way.
“After 20 or 25 minutes, the gaffer made a change to how we set up and I think it did help us. We did have a couple of chances and maybe if one of them went in it would have been a different game.They moved the ball well and we did find it hard at times, when you play against the bigger teams you need to finish those chances when you get them.
“It’s up to the linesman what he wants to do but I never once thought Harrop was even offside to be honest, so I’ll have to watch it back and see, but I thought it was a good move from us and if that wasn’t given offside then we’ve got a goal and it could have been a little bit different and it gives you confidence.
“It’s one of those days, it’s still a pre-season friendly at the end of the day, it was just more about getting the minutes and building yourself up for next weekend.”
Potts has played a particularly important role in the side since the late resumption of last season after lockdown and has been generally pleased with his form, which he hopes will be enough to make the starting XI against Swansea next week.
“I think I have come back and maybe apart from today - I was a bit sloppy at times and frustrated with how I’ve done there - but on the whole I feel I’ve done well and carried on what I was doing from after lockdown. Hopefully the gaffer has noticed that and I’m in his plans.
“That’s what pre-season is for, the games, and just building everything up to next weekend. We’ll have a good week next week of training and go again next weekend.”
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