Ryan Lowe said it was a “good day all round” as Preston North End left Oakwell with a 3-1 victory on Gentry Day.
After falling behind early in the game, a brace from Daniel Johnson and an Emil Riis strike turned the tie around to seal victory in the final away trip of the season.
Gentry Day is of course a special occasion for the supporters, with 2,000 North End fans in attendance for the lunchtime kick-off, and the PNE manager and squad joined in with the tradition, wearing bowler hats following the conclusion of the game.
“It was a good day all round,” Ryan told iFollow PNE. “Obviously wearing the hats for the fans, Gentry Day and three points.
“I thought the performance was very good in spells. We created plenty of chances, loads of passes, loads of entries into their half and I think we could have scored a few more goals to be a little bit critical, but I’m really pleased.
“The lads have given us a reaction from the last couple of losses and I said I want to finish the season on a high and certainly that’s what we’ve started from today and hopefully we can continue next week.”
Johnson was the man to get PNE back in the game, and he scored another in the second period, despite playing at the unfamiliar position of left wing back.
On paper that’s a completely different position to midfield, however the manager feels the positions in which his goals came from are exactly the ones he’s looking for his wing backs and midfielders to occupy.
Talking about the performance of his No.11, Ryan laughed: “He just said to me ‘is that me stuck there now?’
“He actually scored them in positions where I like my eights and my wing backs, he’s getting in them areas and DJ’s a quality player so he can play anywhere across the middle.
“We felt him and Ali [McCann] getting down that side [would give us] a bit of energy and then in the second half we swapped over and Browney [Alan Browne] was over on that side with DJ.
“When you’ve got quality players like that running at the opposition you can always cause trouble, but the goals were well taken, fantastic.”
There’s now just the one game left for Lowe and his players this Championship season, as they prepare to welcome Middlesbrough to Deepdale next Saturday for another 12.30pm kick-off.
At the time of writing, it appears that Boro will arrive in Lancashire with a chance of sneaking into the Play-Offs, and that’s a tie Ryan is looking forward to.
The manager also spoke about his pleasure at his side’s campaign since he took over.
He said: “I’ve been pleased with the reaction of the boys and where they were with the points tally.
“The objectives we asked them to get we’re more or less getting, but again we’re not finished there, we’ve got another three points to fight for.
“It’s going to be a tough encounter. I’m not too sure how their game will pan out today because they’re trying to get into the Play-Offs, so if it’s a tasty encounter where they need to get into the Play-Offs then bring it on, we’ll look forward to it.
“But again, I told the group we wanted to finish on maximum points from today and next week and that’ll still be the aim.”