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Frankie McAvoy enjoys the biggest win of his Preston career after upsetting Bournemouth

Preston North End beat Bournemouth 2-1 away from home on Wednesday night, and this was the best victory of the Frankie McAvoy era.

Nobody was really giving Preston a chance at the Vitality Stadium.

Bournemouth were unbeaten in the Championship this term. They had dropped just eight points across 15 games and had won their previous five games.

Bournemouth hadn’t even conceded a single goal for four games. With Preston failing to win an away game this term, everybody had predicted a Cherries win.



Talk about a coupon buster – Preston were outstanding on the South Coast.

North End had to dig in early on as Bournemouth had the majority of possession, but were well worth their 2-1 victory.

There have been a couple of changes since the terrible 2-0 defeat at Blackpool that have added balance to the Preston side.

Tom Barkhuizen playing at wing back didn’t work against Hull City, but was perfect last night.

Instead of feeling like a back five, this genuinely felt like a system with wing backs who could carry the ball forward and get Preston on the attack.

That switch has resulted in Sepp van den Berg playing as a right-sided centre back, which is his preferred position.

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Sure, he’s played very well as a right wing back, but we have now seen Van den Berg excel in three games at right-sided centre back. His pace on the cover helps Patrick Bauer and was evident throughout last night’s game.

In midfield, Ali McCann has come into the side. The Northern Irish international wasn’t available against Blackpool but has started the three games since.

The early signs are very good from McCann. He is so quick around the middle of the pitch, snaps into tackles with real intensity and makes great runs into the channels to get Preston moving forward.

Oh, and he managed to bag the winner last night.

All of these decisions made Preston so much more of a threat against Bournemouth. This wasn’t a complete rearguard action; there were considerable spells where Preston were on the front foot and having a real go.

That’s what Preston fans have been seeking. Not necessarily being gung-ho, but having a real intent when in possession of the ball.

Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Boss McAvoy has come under immense pressure of late, especially after that defeat to Blackpool.

That is though three league wins in the last four and two in a row.

Maybe North End really are turning a corner. It’s at least a great response to losing the game that mattered so much to supporters.

There were positive performances in McAvoy’s caretaker spell, but this is the biggest result of the Scot’s short managerial career to date.

McAvoy deserves praise for tweaking the side and getting confidence back up; the atmosphere was in danger of turning a little toxic after that Blackpool defeat.

There will be more big games to come, such as this weekend’s clash with Nottingham Forest, but the pressure is easing on McAvoy and deservingly so after a stunning away victory.

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