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First Team News

Frankie Looking Forward To Fulham Clash

25 November 2021

Frankie McAvoy is looking forward to seeing his PNE side pit themselves against league leaders Fulham on Saturday afternoon.

North End welcome Marco Silva’s side to Deepdale for a 12.30pm kick-off in front of the Sky Sports cameras, with the Cottagers looking to extend their eight-game unbeaten run and lead at the top of the Championship table.

The Lilywhites will have belief that they’re up the challenge, though, having enjoyed a good record playing against sides in the top six so far this term.

Asked whether those results can provide confidence, Frankie told iFollow PNE: “The players should, it’s not about me, it’s about the players. They’re the guys that make the difference.

“We can set them up and prepare them as best as we can, but they’re the guys who need to go and execute it and deliver on the pitch.

“We’ve done well in the main against teams that are in the top six and this gives us another opportunity and chance to go and pit ourselves against one of the top teams in the Championship and it’ll give us a gauge of where we really are if I’m honest.

“We’re sitting on 24 points, we’d all have loved to be sitting with more points and higher up the table, but we are where we are and what we need to do now is try to see if we can get a good run of sustainability about us and hopefully that can start on Saturday.”

Fulham themselves have taken 42 points from their 19 games so far this campaign, and they’ve already got a nine-point gap between themselves and third place.

A point above AFC Bournemouth, who PNE beat 2-1 away from home earlier in the month, the two teams have been the early frontrunners and seem to be on their own in the race for automatic promotion.

Frankie added: “Them and Bournemouth are quite a wee bit ahead if we’re honest. We went to Bournemouth with a game plan, we executed it and the players deserved immense credit for it.

“We’ll give Fulham that same respect, as we do with every team to be honest. Marco Silva’s got them playing extremely well; they’ve got a squad that was geared up for playing in the Premier League, they’ve come down and the way you want to start is the way they’ve done it.

“He’s got a fantastic striker in [Aleksandar] Mitrovic – God knows how many goals he’ll score – hopefully he doesn’t score on Saturday and hopefully the illness that kept him out on Wednesday night is the exact same on Saturday if I’m honest.

“But even then they’ve got fantastic players throughout their squad so it’ll be a really, really tough game for us, but one I’m looking forward to, one the players should be looking forward to and one our supporters should be looking forward to.

“It’s live on Sky, Saturday early kick-off, what better way to go and try and endear yourself a wee bit more to your support than going and putting in a good performance and winning the three points.”

Away from the pitch, Frankie attended a memorial service for Mr Trevor Hemmings on Thursday morning, and the Scot was left even more in awe of what the club's owner achieved during his life.

“It was absolutely magnificent to be honest and I thought it was a fantastic, fitting tribute to a wonderful, wonderful man,” said Frankie.

“Some of the speakers that spoke about him, some of the stories you heard about his life was incredible and I’ve obviously known him for just over four years, but some of the stories were remarkable. What a man he was.

“I always knew in my short time speaking to him just how influential he was, a shrewd businessman, but what a wonderful, wonderful person he was.

“The amount of work he did for charities, the amount of times he bailed people out is just incredible to be honest.

“For Preston North End – I said at the time – we were privileged to have him here because he was the boss.

“Peter [Ridsdale’s] fitting tribute to him from the football side ended with ‘thank you boss’ and there’s no better words to say than that.

“Just thank you for everything you’ve done for Preston North End and hopefully we can get a good result against the table toppers on Saturday to probably finish on a high for him.”

Hear more from Frankie in his full interview on iFollow PNE.


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