Men's Team

Preston friendly 'ideal pre-season preparation', says Jon Macken

Preston friendly 'ideal pre-season preparation', says Jon Macken
Former City striker Jon Macken believes Tuesday’s friendly encounter at home to Preston North End will represent the ideal pre-season preparation for Pep Guardiola’s squad.

After a week of intensive work on the training field, City’s build-up ahead of the new season continues with an Academy Stadium meeting against Championship side North End (kick-off 7pm).

Though the game will be played behind closed doors due to COVID-19 safety precautions, CITY+ subscribers will be able to watch the match exclusively live.

And looking ahead to the fixture, former Republic of Ireland striker Macken – who performed to great effect for both City and Preston over the course of his distinguished career – said it represented an ideal first summer outing for the reigning Premier League champions.

“I think it’s the perfect pre-season fixture for City,” Macken declared.

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“It will be a real challenge which is what you want but you look at City and the wonderful players they have and there is quality everywhere.

“From City’s perspective, it will just be good to get back involved in a match situation while for Preston it’s a fantastic prospect and very exciting.

“When you come back to pre-season the first focus is obviously on your sharpness and fitness, but you can’t wait for that first game to get back into the matchday vibe.

WATCH: Highlights revisited: Preston 0-3 City 2019

“I think that’s what all the City boys will be really looking forward to and they will be chomping at the bit to the back out there in game mode.

“For Preston, they have had a few matches already this summer, but they will be thrilled and excited at the thought of playing City.”

With several members of City’s squad still on their summer breaks following their exertions in the European Championships and Copa America, Tuesday’s fixture could hand an opportunity for a number of youngsters to gain crucial experience on the senior stage.

And, reflecting on his own experiences when starting out in the game, Macken believes such opportunities are a huge incentive.

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“I know that when I was a youngster, games like this represented a big opportunity and a great showcase for you to try and put yourself forward,” Jon pointed out.

“Pep and the coaches obviously know an awful lot about the younger lads but games like this give those boys the opportunity to put their hand up in a matchday environment.

“So it will be a fantastic experience for the younger guys to try and show what they are really about.


                        FLASHBACK: Jon Macken during his City days
FLASHBACK: Jon Macken during his City days

“It will also be excellent for Preston and their players to experience coming up against such a special team as City.”

Macken also has no doubts that Frankie McAvoy’s talented Deepdale side will present a stern and challenging test for Guardiola’s players.

“Preston have always been a side renowned for trying to play the right way. Their attitude will be spot on regardless of the fact it’s a pre-season friendly,” Macken asserted.

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“As professionals, that desire is there whether it’s a league game, a pre-season friendly or a five a side match!

“I think it be a brilliant showcase for both sides.”

Tuesday’s game kicks-off at 7pm and will be screened live on CITY+ Full details of how to subscribe can be found HERE.

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