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First Team News

Frankie Felt Justice In Equaliser

14 September 2021

Head coach Frankie McAvoy felt the last-minute equaliser against Sheffield United was “justice” as his side earned a deserved point.

Sander Berge’s 84th-minute goal looked as though it was going to earn the hosts all three points on Tuesday evening, but Emil Riis slammed home an injury time strike to take a point back to Lancashire.

Immediately before the Blades’ second goal, Frankie replaced Daniel Johnson with Ali McCann, and he admitted that after then falling behind, he was contemplating whether that was the right change to have made.

Speaking to iFollow PNE, he said: “When they scored the second goal I thought I’ve probably messed it up here in terms of the change, but thankfully we get another opportunity.

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“We take Pat [Bauer] off, we go 4-4-2 to get another player up the pitch, because I felt in terms of effort, endeavour, commitment, our hunger, our desire, and even at times when we had the ball I thought that was probably justice for us at the end.

“I’m delighted for the players, the backroom team and the supporters and everybody connected with Preston because we’ve showed we’re decent.

“I’ve said this for a long time. We’re prepared, we know the players that we’ve got, and we’re quite prepared to go toe to toe with most teams.

“We’ll give it our best crack and hopefully we’ll win quite a lot of games, and if you pick points up away from home it’s not a bad night, particularly when you get one right at the death.”

With Berge’s goal coming so late on in the game, it could well have killed the game off, but PNE kept fighting and that’s something the head coach was keen to praise.

“I’m delighted, absolutely delighted,” he affirmed. “They give me everything, I’ve said this before. They’re a great group. It’s not just the 11 that play, even the guys behind who are not involved, some of the bench, some even not involved in the squad.

“There’s a real togetherness about them and you can see that fighting spirit that they’ve got and that can take you a long way and I’ve told them this.

“I just think that we’re improving as a group. I think some of the passing and moving at times is really good. I think the 3-5-2 system suits us really well, I think again the two wing backs are a threat when we get them forward.

“The boys defensively need to dig in at times, there’s pace either side of Pat. In the middle of the park, the boys fight tooth and nail for everything and we keep the ball and we can move it, and the front two again were a handful.”

North End played high up the pitch during the game at Bramall Lane, pressing high on their opposition, and against a team who keep the ball like Slavisa Jokanovic’s Sheffield United, that comes with risks.

Frankie, though, was pleased with how his side did, although they were almost breached on 77 minutes when John Fleck broke through on Daniel Iversen's goal.

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“They’re good in terms of possession, they’re first in the league [for it],” said Frankie. “They keep the ball, they move it, they’ve got really good players as you can see and there’s times that they manage to play through your press and that’s understandable.

“To a man you’ve got to stand up and defend and when they really break through Daniel stands up, what a save he makes which is magnificent for us, and I just felt all in all it was a great game.”

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


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