Preston North End and Nottingham Forest are the only sides in the Championship who have lost all three of their opening games and manager Frankie McAvoy responded to the supporters’ criticism in his press conference, ahead of Saturday’s hosting of Peterborough United.
It has been a less than ideal start to McAvoy’s first full season in charge at Deepdale, earning promotion after a successful caretaker spell at the back end of 2020/21. Some comments from the stands have clearly affected his mindset going into an important game against newly promoted Posh.
He said: “People have a right to criticise but I feel it should be constructive rather than abusive, everyone at the club is doing their best for Preston North End. We are doing everything in our power to make us successful and we will do that better if the fans are behind us.”
FM: “People have a right to criticise but I feel it should be constructive rather than abusive, everyone at the club is doing their best for Preston North End. We are doing everything in our power to make us successful and we will do that better if the fans are behind us.” #pnefc
— Preston North End FC (@pnefc) August 19, 2021
North End finished the season with four straight wins, leading to the good feeling around McAvoy at helm, the next three matches against Peterborough, Swansea City and Bristol City seem pivotal.
If Preston fail to win any of them, then a club who have traditionally shown a lot of patience with managers may be tempted to pull the trigger.
The appointment of Frankie McAvoy this summer smacked of a lack of ambition, with the likes of Gareth Ainsworth at Wycombe Wanderers a candidate well fancied for the role, the internal approach despite the impressive form in a small sample size last season was very uninspiring.
North End have a squad better than a Championship relegation battle but it is also one that Alex Neil overachieved with year on year, should the pendulum swing the other way, an underperformance would certainly result in concerns over their status as a second tier club.
Only the fourth game of the season, but Saturday feels significant, a defeat against Darren Ferguson’s men could really set the wheels in motion with the Lilywhites scouting a potential managerial replacement.