What PNE boss and skipper said about prospect of facing Sheffield United

Preston’s manager and skipper have both admitted that they could be facing a different proposition in Sheffield United tonight compared to what it might have been a couple of weeks ago.

By Chris Holt
Tuesday, 14th September 2021, 1:19 pm

The Blades got their season up and running with an emphatic 6-2 win over Peterborough United at the weekend, to secure their first league victory of Slavisa Jokanovic’s reign.

And while PNE captain Alan Browne acknowledges that United have had a poor start to the campaign by their expectations, the Republic of Ireland international realises that Saturday’s win at Bramall Lane changes things.

Browne said: “It’s a good time for them to get six though! They’ve had a really poor start, but if you look at their team on paper it’s got quality throughout it.

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Frankie McAvoy, Manager of Preston North End brings his team to Bramall Lane to take on SHeffield United tonight. (Photo by Charlotte Tattersall/Getty Images)

“They’ve obviously been in the Premier League for a couple of seasons so they’ll be wanting to get back there and I’m sure they’ll be up there come the end of the season.

“We’ve got to make sure their poor start to the season continues tomorrow and put them to the sword. They got six at the weekend but before that they would have been lacking a lot of confidence and we need to add to that.”

Preston have the oportunity to stretch their unbeaten run in all competitions to five when they travel to South Yorkshire tonight

Browney said: “It’d be brilliant [to go five unbeaten]. It’s tough to put an unbeaten run together in this league and hopefully we can add to the performances as well as results come [against United].

“I think the weekend was a good point [at Bristol City]. I think on another day we take all three, but as the season goes on, it’ll look like a good point.

“Again, we’re away from home so I think if we’re solid at the back and can maybe put them away at the other end, we’ll stand a good chance.”

Browne’s boss Frankie McAvoy also pointed out that the Blades have a strong squad that belies their opening to the campaign

“They were getting criticised for not scoring goals, but they’ve got an array of talent,” McAvoy said. “They’ve been up in the Premier League, they’ve come down, they’ve added a few new faces as well.

“A new manager coming in, Slavisa Jokanovic, has a wealth of experience in terms of managing in England as well as the continent, and he’s done really well with a few promotions to the Premier League under his belt as well.

“So they’ll be formidable, I don’t think there’s any questions or doubt about that, and with the great result they had on Saturday against Peterborough their confidence will be pretty sky high.

“But most importantly I’ve got to look at us. We’re on a run of four unbeaten now, we’re a bit unfortunate it wasn’t three wins in a row in the league, which is good in the Championship, and we’ll go prepare as best as we can to go and try and get a positive result.”

Preston could give former Sheffield Wednesday striker Connor Wickham a start up front after his deal to join North End was confirmed yesterday.

There’ll be no homecoming for ex-Blades Ched Evans who remains injured.