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First Team News

Ched Hoping To Build On Last Season’s Momentum

20 July 2021

As PNE get further into their pre-season schedule, striker Ched Evans says he and his team-mates are looking to continue their momentum from the end of last season.

The Lilywhites ended the 2020/21 Championship campaign in fine form, taking 17 points from eight games under Frankie McAvoy, and they’ve gone unbeaten so far since their return in games against Bamber Bridge, St Johnstone and Celtic.

Next season will mark the first full campaign at Deepdale for Ched after joining the club in January, initially on loan, before signing a two-year contract.

“I love it here,” Ched told iFollow PNE. “The training ground and the facilities are brilliant, I can live at home and travel in.

“The atmosphere around the place is really good and we just need to keep doing what we’re doing, go about our business quietly and start the season with the momentum we left at last year which was a really positive one, so I’m really excited and looking forward to getting started now on the seventh.”

While up in St Andrews last week for the squad's training camp, Ched featured in both matches, playing the last half hour against St Johnstone, before starting up top at Celtic Park alongside Scott Sinclair.

Ched said: “St Johnstone was a bit of a different test to Celtic, I thought they were good in the first half and obviously we defended well. Ben [Whiteman] obviously scores a great goal and we see the game out with a draw.

“Celtic was a different game in the fact that they were good on the ball. We created a lot of chances, I had a couple myself personally and it could have been a bigger scoreline, but I think overall we’ve got to look at that as a massive positive.

“I think they play Champions League tomorrow [Tuesday] and for us going in to each game wanting to win and getting that mentality early on in the season is good.”

Bolton Wanderers are up next for North End on Tuesday evening at the County Ground in Leyland.

Ian Evatt’s side are three games into pre-season, like PNE, and will be full of confidence after sealing their return to League One a couple of months ago.

Ched said: “I think they’re going to be well set up, they’ve made a lot of signings in the past 12 months, so players will be wanting to prove themselves and pre-season is always the best place to do that.

“The last three games have gone well as a group and we can kick on now. They’ll be wanting to kick on, especially off the back of a good season last year.

“They’ll be bouncing with confidence, but I feel for us it’s going in with the right mindset and getting the job done.”

PNE supporters will, after almost 18 months away, be back in attendance to watch their team in action on Tuesday evening.

Ched is yet to introduce himself to the club’s supporters and his first opportunity to do that at Deepdale is against none other than Manchester United on 31st July.

Asked if there’s a better fixture to see fans back at Deepdale for, Ched answered: “There probably would be a better game yeah! A nice easy game to get some good touches and some goals in, but United’s going to get a good game.

“It’ll be good for the fans to come back and support Preston and it’ll be a pleasure playing against players of Manchester United’s calibre.

“It’ll be for everybody to enjoy but we will go out there with a mindset of we’re in a game here and we want to win because that’s the mentality we’re going to go into this season with, every game we’re going to try and win.”

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