Frankie McAvoy felt his squad answered a lot of questions on Tuesday night in their Carabao Cup victory over Morecambe.
Preston North End came out 4-2 winners in what proved to be a topsy-turvy second round tie at the Mazuma Stadium, with the Lilywhites going two ahead in the first half before being pegged back to 2-2, but goals from Ryan Ledson and Sepp van den Berg late on sealed victory.
Speaking to iFollow PNE, Frankie said: “The most pleasing thing was at 2-2, you’re here in a cup tie, the place was rocking, and the fans managed to drive us through.
“They’ve answered that question that was set to them, are we good enough? Have we got the courage to go and win the game? The conviction to go and do it? And they’ve done that, and I’m absolutely delighted for every one of them.”
It was Emil Riis who got the first two goals for North End, the first of which came after being brilliantly found by Daniel Johnson, before he tucked home after the goalkeeper collided with defender Sam Lavelle, leaving the ball free to tap into an empty net.
Riis’ strikes have pushed his tally up to four for the season already and Frankie has been pleased with what he’s seen so far from his Danish forward.
He said: “What he’s done is he’s shown his impact when he’s come on mostly. I’ve said to him and been honest, what we need to do is try and get you playing for 90 minutes and being an absolute nuisance for 90 minutes.
“Being a presence, being a threat, and I think you can see he’s powerful, he’s strong. He’ll make mistakes, he’s young, he’s a bit raw at times but at the end of the day I’m absolutely delighted with him.
“He’s taken the bull by the horns tonight. His first finish was magnificent and he’s been alive to the second one, he’s tucked it away and I thought he was a real threat and a real menace at times for them, and you can see his link up play is improving and we just need to keep working with him and keep trying to develop and improve him as a player.”
The third goal came from Ledson, a strike which Frankie said was worthy of winning any cup tie, and he was also pleased to see his two wing backs combine for the fourth, with Greg Cunningham finding van den Berg at the far post.
In sealing the victory, PNE confirmed their place in the third round, and with the European sides from the Premier League entering the competition there is potential for a big tie when the draw is made on Wednesday night, but Frankie stressed his full focus now turns to league matters.
“I’m just delighted we’re in the round to be honest,” he affirmed. “That’s what our task was to get there, but if I’m honest the focus is now on Swansea City on Saturday and going to try and see if we can win and pick up more points in the league.
“I’m delighted for the supporters who I thought were magnificent tonight, brilliant. They spurred us on and what we’ll do is do our best, our utmost. We’ll dust ourselves down and we’ll get ourselves prepared for Swansea as best as we can and hopefully we’ll go and deliver.”
Frankie’s full interview is available to watch now on iFollow.