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First Team News

Frankie Praises PNE Bravery

23 November 2021

Frankie McAvoy praised his side’s bravery and belief as Preston North End completed a comeback victory over Middlesbrough.

PNE had fallen behind in the first half through a Paddy McNair header from a corner, but substitute Ched Evans – on his return from injury – got his side back into the game in the 77th minute.

Emil Riis then completed the turnaround just four minutes later, firing a left-footed effort into the top corner to seal the victory for his side.

Speaking to iFollow after the game, Frankie said: “I’m delighted for the players. I’m delighted for the supporters – a great number by the way. Well done to them because it’s not an easy journey on a Tuesday night to come here!

“I could hear them all the way through, similar to Bournemouth to be honest, they were excellent all the way through it.

“I’m just delighted. I’ve said for a wee while that we’ve missed Ched and I felt you could see the difference when he comes on the pitch for us, he just manages games well.

“It’s a fantastic header from him to get us back into the game and we maybe get a wee bit fortunate with the winner, but sometimes you need a wee bit of luck at times in games.”

For that winning strike, Sol Bamba’s clearance fell kindly for PNE’s forward Riis, but he still had plenty to do from there to score his 12th goal of the campaign in all competitions.

“It was a magnificent finish,” he said. “There were a couple of times he was down that channel to come inside, one breaks for the corner as well but it’s a great take.

“He chops from his right onto his left and finishes it. I’m saying it was a bit fortunate, I mean the defender makes a mistake with his decision making and obviously it falls to Emil, but the finish is magnificent.

“He’s been great. There’s times he gets opportunities and chances which he might not stick away, but the only thing I can say is he’s improved considerably.

“He’s confident, he’s a young man with a big, big future and I’m delighted with that. I felt the guys in the middle of the park worked their socks off, they were great.

“They took the ball and I’m delighted for the group. The defenders, you could see we worked on them trying to take the ball from the back, trying to be a wee bit braver.

“I said that after the Cardiff game and I cannot fault them tonight for doing that. I’m just delighted we’ve managed to pick up the three points.”

At 1-0 down, Frankie opted to make his three allotted substitutes, bringing Evans, Daniel Johnson and Scott Sinclair off the bench.

They all played parts in the goals, and the character to keep going right until the late stages of the game was pleasing to Frankie, who praised that show of belief within the group.

He said: “I still believed we were good enough if we got the chances and opportunities. We would be more than good enough to go and win the game, I always thought that.

“It’s about belief and the biggest thing within that group is the team spirit and I know it’s there.

“Sometimes when you’ve got a lot of negativity from around and about when things don’t go your way, sometimes it can creep onto the pitch and that’s the thing that hopefully we can try and keep away, because they’re human beings the footballers.

“But they’re the most important guys, they’re the guys that take the field, the guys that play and tonight they deserve the plaudits.”

Hear more from Frankie on iFollow PNE.

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