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First Team News

Frankie Looking To Experiment Formations

29 July 2021

Head coach Frankie McAvoy is looking to try out different formations this weekend as PNE finish their pre-season schedule with a double-header.

The Lilywhites take on Wigan Athletic away from home on Friday night, before returning to Deepdale on Saturday to welcome Manchester United.

Focusing on Friday evening’s game first, which kicks off at 7.30pm, the Latics are preparing for another season in League One after surviving the threat of relegation earlier this year.

Frankie told iFollow PNE: “[It will be] a difficult test again. They’ve strengthened well to be fair to them and we’ve just watched some of the stuff in the video room and they play a 4-4-1-1. It’ll be another difficult task for us.

“I’ll probably look at a different shape tomorrow night to get a look at it and see how we do in that shape, and hopefully that will tell me where I stand in terms of bringing in wide players etc, so I’m looking forward it.”

In terms of team news, Daniel Johnson returned to Euxton on Thursday morning following Jamaica’s elimination from the Gold Cup and he could be in contention to feature.

Jack Baxter and Adam O’Reilly are among those still out, and Frankie offered an update on the availability of the rest of his squad.

He said: “Alan [Browne] came through another 30 minutes [against Manchester City], Ched played over 60 minutes and everybody else seems to be in good fettle at the moment.

“Matthew [Olosunde]’s still off his feet at this stage, hopefully we can get him back to full fitness soon, but other than that we seem to okay.”

It’ll be straight back to action following the Wigan friendly as Premier League side Manchester United come to Deepdale, and also making their way to the stadium will be supporters, for the first time since March 2020.

Frankie added: “I’m absolutely delighted that Man United are coming to play us at Deepdale. It’ll be a great opportunity and chance for some of the fans to see the players.

“I think sometimes when fans have been away for a time it takes just a bit of time for players to adjust to get back into that way of playing in front of supporters. But I know they’re itching at the bit to get on to the pitch and see the fans.

“Some of these lads have not been able to play in front of fans at Deepdale which will be new to some of them but I’m really looking forward to it, I know they are and we cannot wait for Saturday.”

While PNE supporters are well familiar with Frankie McAvoy as part of the backroom staff, they are yet to see him in the Deepdale dugout as head coach.

The Scot is looking forward to seeing the supporters again and is hopeful that fans can help to make the stadium a difficult place to come to.

He said: “I’m an honest person that realises obviously fans pay their money, so they’re looking for us to try and do our best to try and win games and hopefully we can do that.

“If we’re not doing well enough then I’m sure they’ll let us know, but the thing that I’ve always said is get behind the players, give them the best support you can and let’s try and make Deepdale a difficult place for anybody to come and try and win games, and make sure that we can be the best that we can be to try and win.”

Frankie's full interview is available to watch at the top of the page.

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