Preston North End are entering a new temporary era today after Alex Neil departed two weeks ago.
A 1-0 loss at home to Luton Town signalled the end of his near-four year reign at Deepdale after seven defeats in the club’s last 11 games.
Neil left North End 16th in the Championship and just nine points above the relegation zone, and now it’s up to his former assistant Frankie McAvoy to steady the ship until the end of the season.
On paper he couldn’t really ask for a tougher test as the league leaders Norwich City travel to Lancashire – but the international break has given Daniel Farke a massive selection headache.
Half of the Canaries squad have been away with their countries and the likes of Adam Idah and Christoph Zimmermann also on the sidelines, Farke was expected to struggle to put a starting 11 together.
If you don’t get at least 15/20 on this Preston North End midfielder quiz, can you really call yourself a Lilywhites fan?
He’s welcomed back the likes of Grant Hanley, Teemu Pukki and Todd Cantwell from international duties but youngsters like Andrew Omobamidele and Bali Mumba have been given starts.
As for North End, McAvoy has named his first line-up in a 4-4-2 – a formation never used by Neil – with Emil Riis and Ched Evans leading the line.
Let’s look at how North End fans have been reacting to the three changes made by the 53-year-old caretaker boss.
Get behind Frankie and the boys. Come on north end
— Kyle Fleming (@kylefleminggg) April 2, 2021
— Jack 🌹 (@jackdantucker_) April 2, 2021
442… interesting. #coyw
— Graeme (@GLPNE73) April 2, 2021
Best team you could pick atm
— Andrea Barnes (@QueenbAndrea) April 2, 2021
looks like 442, decent
— Edd (@Edd_PNE) April 2, 2021
Dropping Gordon are you mad frankie
— Calum Darren Moore (@CalumDMoore) April 2, 2021
Finally not being defensive… I like it
— L.D.G (@PNEGOINUP) April 2, 2021
oh my holy god, TWO UP FRONT???????,
— Yakub (@woodsy8793) April 2, 2021
Oh my god two up front
— #startbayliss (@mcfadyen_luke) April 2, 2021
This guy has a clue
— Arxhie_M0ss (@ArxhieM) April 2, 2021