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First Team News

Gaffer Has Eyes Set On Top-Half Finish

7 April 2022

Ryan Lowe admitted he’s gutted PNE are now in the final stretch of the campaign and he’s keen for his side to finish as strong as they possibly can to achieve a top-half finish.

Heading into Saturday’s game against Queens Park Rangers, North End have just six games left of the Championship season.

With Ryan having only been in charge for the past four months, he’s keen to continue building the foundations at PNE going into the summer.

“We’ve addressed that with the players,” he told iFollow PNE. “We’ve told them we don’t want the season to peter out.

“We’ve got four and a half weeks left. I’m gutted there’s only four and a half weeks left, I want it to continue.

“The break will be nice because it’s been long, but in terms of what we’re trying to do and what we’re trying to achieve, I’d love to have 20 games left rather than six games left, but that’s just the league and that’s what we’re in.

“If we can make sure that we have a good end to the season and not let it peter out and put in performances like we did on Tuesday night [against Blackpool] then I’ll be pleased.”

Heading into the weekend, the Lilywhites currently sit 13th in the Championship, and the aim now is to finish in the top half of the division.

Part of the reason for the thinking behind that is that a good run of results will give PNE momentum heading into next season, but Ryan also feels the higher they finish in the table, the easier attracting new players will become.

“You’d like to continue momentum,” he said to iFollow PNE. “I think if you have a strong end to the season it can always propel you into the following season, even though you’ve got eight or nine weeks off or something until your next game.

“We’re aware of that, but what we’ve got to do for our own benefit is we’ve got to make sure we climb the table and pick as many points up as we possibly can.

“It’ll be a whole different type of Preston North End team next season with additions and whatnot, so we’ve got to worry about now and then worry about next season.

“But what I do want to do is make sure we finish as high as we possibly can and make sure we get as many points as we possibly can because it certainly helps in recruitment.”

Saturday’s opponents QPR are another team very keen to end their season positively, with Play-Offs still a possibility for them, despite their below-par form of late.

Ryan added: “You can’t disrespect Mark Warburton’s teams, not a chance. He’s a fantastic bloke, a fantastic manager, he’s been there, seen it and done it.

“They’ve got some quality players in their team and they play a good brand of football, so we know what’s coming.

“We’ve been working on them yesterday, today and tomorrow. We’ve got to make sure we follow the gameplan, stick to it, and try and bring it to fruition and look for some weaknesses in them.

“They’re trying to get into the Play-Offs and we’re going to play a big part in most teams I think trying to get into the Play-Offs, and certainly one down the bottom potentially.

"We’ve just got to make sure that we do what’s good by us and if we stick to the plan we’ll hopefully be fine.”


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