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First Team News

Mixed Feelings For Frankie After St Johnstone Draw

14 July 2021

First Team News

Mixed Feelings For Frankie After St Johnstone Draw

14 July 2021

Head coach Frankie McAvoy felt his side did well in stages in “a fantastic test” against St Johnstone, but admitted there was plenty to work on.

PNE took the lead against the Scottish cup double winners thanks to Ben Whiteman, but they were made to settle for a 1-1 draw after David Wotherspoon’s equaliser.

“It was a good test to be honest, we knew it would be,” Frankie told iFollow PNE. “They won both cups here in Scotland, which I’ve said before is a fantastic achievement, and they put the strongest team out to start and play against us which was great because it gives the boys a fantastic test straight away.

“I thought we had some good bits, but some bits we just looked a wee bit slack in terms of the tempo we played at times.

“We sort of played in front of them, I'm looking for someone to penetrate behind the lines at times, particularly first half it took us about 20 minutes before we started to make runs forward and then put balls forward.

“There was too much just tippy tappy in terms of playing, but really not getting anywhere, so we managed to change that a wee bit and created some good opportunities going forward.”

One of those chances resulted in a goal 35 minutes in courtesy of Whiteman’s right foot, as he curled the ball round a defender and into the back of the net off the underside of the crossbar.

He captained the side in the first 60 minutes of the game before PNE chose to make wholesale changes in their bid to increase match practice.

Frankie said: “It’s a fantastic strike from Ben Whiteman to be fair, a beautiful strike, he’s got that abundance of quality within him, so delighted with that.

“[It was] great to see Matthew Olosunde play today as well and obviously big Pat [Bauer] coming back and getting 60 minutes under his belt which was really, really pleasing.

“Again, young Lewis Leigh, 17 years of age, going in and playing against a team that have won the two domestic trophies up here and playing against a 32-year-old midfielder who’s done really well in the Scottish game, and it was great for him.

“We’re learning, we need to just learn to move the ball quicker, because obviously we’re coming up for a different challenge on Saturday against Celtic, who will move the ball really quickly.”

Hear more from Frankie in his full interview at the top of this page.

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