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First Team News

Frankie Wants To Utilise Home Advantage

27 September 2021

PNE will “take the game” to Stoke City on Tuesday evening, according to head coach Frankie McAvoy, as they go in search of a ninth game without defeat.

North End welcome Michael O’Neill’s side, who currently sit fifth in the Championship, for a 7.45pm kick-off at Deepdale.

Despite their visitors’ position in the table, Frankie says his side will do everything they can on home turf to go and get the win, after going the last four in the league without maximum points.

“If you can keep that recipe going where you win at home and you can take at least points away from home then you’ll be doing alright come the end of the season,” Frankie said to iFollow PNE.

“But what we need to do as I’ve said before is just focus on tomorrow night. We’ll prepare everything that we can as best as we can today and give Stoke City the respect they’re due, but ultimately we’re the home team and we’ll go and take the game to them and hopefully we can get the three points at the end of the day.”

Stoke come to Deepdale after winning their last two games, but their form has been better at their home stadium rather than on their travels, which is something the Lilywhites will be hoping to take advantage of.

They are certainly no slouches on the road, though, having clinched a 3-1 victory against Premier League side Watford last week in the Carabao Cup.

Frankie said: “I think Watford found to their demise in the cup that they’re alright away from home as well!

“But we’re at home. I’ve made it abundantly clear that we’ll try and win every game no matter who it is that comes to Deepdale. I think the fans can see that we’re trying to win the games, which I think is really important.

“The fans have really got behind us and recently you can see that when they’re there behind you, supporting you, giving you everything, then it’s a formidable place and I’m really looking forward to Tuesday night under the lights.”

The Scot has chosen to name an unchanged team for each of the last five league matches now, but he could perhaps be tempted to make a few adjustments given the return of some who had previously been missing.

Tom Barkhuizen, who hasn’t been available since the opening day defeat to Hull, is back in contention for tomorrow evening, while skipper Alan Browne could also be involved after missing the weekend’s trip to Birmingham.

The Potters, like PNE, tend to operate in a 3-5-2 formation, so it could be a case of like-for-like.

Frankie added: “The system they play has served them very well, similar to ourselves, and I don’t see any reason why they would change that, but you never know.

“It’s up to Michael [O’Neill] what he decides to do with his team. I’m sure that he’ll come here in a positive frame of mind, likewise us, we’re in a positive frame of mind and I’m looking forward to the challenge.”

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


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