Frankie McAvoy sees Wednesday evening’s game against Coventry City as an opportunity to put things right after Saturday’s performance at home to Derby County.
The head coach spoke openly after that goalless draw about his disappointment in his side’s first half display in particular, but the busy Championship schedule means they are back at Deepdale midweek against the Sky Blues.
“We prepared ourselves as best as we could," Frankie told iFollow PNE, regarding the Derby draw. "I thought on the Thursday when we worked through things we looked good, but sometimes when you look through things the reality is it’s different when you need to do it on the big stage as I said after the game.
“For the vast majority of the games these guys have played for me, they give me everything so I know that, and Saturday was a sombre day for everybody, but at the end of the day that doesn’t cover over the fact that we didn’t do well enough.
“What we’ve got is an opportunity and a chance to go and rectify that on Wednesday night and hopefully we’ll prepare them as best as we can, get ourselves ready to go, be mindful and respectful of Coventry the opposition that’s coming to face us, but ultimately go and try and win the game, that’s what we need to try and do.”
Coventry come to Deepdale after making a very strong start to their second campaign back in the Championship, taking 23 points from their opening 12 games.
At the time of writing they sit fourth and arrive after two positive results: a victory at home to Fulham and a draw away to Blackburn Rovers on Saturday.
Frankie said: “Results wise they’ve done fantastically well. Mark [Robins] has done an extremely very good job with them to be honest, you just need to look at them on Saturday when they were 2-0 down and came back, galvanised themselves to get a 2-2 draw.
“If you look at two of their results, they lost 5-0 to Luton a few weeks back and then the next game they turned over Fulham 4-1.
“Anything can happen in this league, I’ve said it for a long time. I know that supporters are desperate for you to win games and I understand that and our task is to win as many games as we can, and that starts on Wednesday night.
“So we will do our utmost, myself, the backroom staff and the players to try and win the game.”
In North End’s draw against Derby, forward Sean Maguire was missing through injury, as were the likes of Ali McCann and Matthew Olosunde.
Frankie offered an insight into who could be in contention come Wednesday evening.
“We’re hopeful Sean will be available for Wednesday night but we just need to wait and see,” added Frankie.
“Ali’s progressing and doing well; Matthew’s on the field training which is good. Ched [Evans] won’t make Wednesday night, Connor [Wickham] obviously we know is out.
“Everybody else is starting to get near up to speed. Tom Barkhuizen got his first start for a long time on Saturday and you could see he maybe needs a wee bit more time to get up to match speed, but that will come because he’s a good player.
“The pleasing part for me on Saturday was the impact that Ben [Whiteman] and Scotty [Sinclair] had when they came on. What we need to do is make sure that if they get the opportunity to start the game then that’s the same type of impact that we’re looking for them to have.”
Hear more from the head coach at the top of the page.