Ryan Lowe dedicated Preston North End’s win against rivals Blackpool to the club’s supporters as Cameron Archer’s goal proved enough to seal all three points.
The Aston Villa loanee scored in first half stoppage time with a sweetly struck effort from the edge of the box to ensure North End tasted success in the West Lancashire derby in league action at Deepdale in over a decade.
The gaffer explained to iFollow PNE that he understood the importance of he and his players realising the importance of the fixture among the fans.
He said: “That one was for the fans. I felt the atmosphere before it, I felt the occasion building. I was told in no uncertain terms from a few fans what it meant.
“We needed to make sure that the lads were up for it and I thought from the first whistle, the tackle from Pottsy set the tone. A fantastic goal from Cam, I thought we could have had one or two more. I thought we were excellent from start to finish in different ways.
“First half we played some fantastic goal and worked our way through the pitch and up the pitch and created some chances. Second half was a little bit different, they had a bit of spell, but I thought we were fantastic.
“We’re really pleased, it’s a great win for the fans, a great win for me as the manager of Preston North End, the first derby, we can’t get too carried away because we have another game at the weekend but I’m really pleased with everyone involved because I thought we were fantastic.”
The manager was also pleased with the involvement of both his starting strikers – with Emil Riis providing the pass for Archer to finish – in the only goal of the game.
He added: “When he [Archer] touched it onto his left foot, I thought, ‘Okay.’ And then when he connected with it, I thought, ‘What a fantastic connection,’ and it just skimmed right off the grass, the ‘keeper had no chance, into the side netting and the corner. Fantastic.
“I must say Emil Riis was fantastic in the build-up to that, his power, his strength to get up there and his pass reaching right to Cam for his touch and finish, I thought he was brilliant. Fair play to Emil for finding Cameron because Cam should have found him towards the back end [of the game]. I’m sure he’ll find him on many more occasions.”
The gaffer is hoping to use the victory as a platform to push on and he wants the fans to continue to play a part in the club’s progression moving forward.
“One of my aims was to try and fill Deepdale and we’ve done that today more or less. I want that to continue. I think the fans are recognising what I’m trying to do, where I’m trying to take the football club.
“We’ve got to keep strong, we’ve got to keep believing that we can do it. I know we can’t come every day and every week, whatever it may be, but when they can I’d like them to be.
“What we’re trying to do at this football club, to take it the next level, it’s massively important for them to be a part of it because it’s important that they are. If they do stick with us through thick and thing, we’ll have more good times like we did tonight.”
It is now all about improvement for the gaffer as they look ahead to welcoming QPR to Deepdale this weekend.
“Every time they’ve took on the game plan, we’ve had successful results and won games of football or points and draws. I’ve said to them to keep believing, they’re not old enough to get better. That’s what we’ve got to do.
“The lads knew they needed to make sure they put in a performance because when Deepdale is full like that, you can’t knock them. I thought they really rallied the boys on, I think they were fantastic, the crowd, fair play to them.
“The lads see that and recognise that and you can see the celebrations towards the end. I’m really pleased but we can’t get too high or too low, we’ve got to move on now quick, we’ve got to recover and we go again Saturday.”
Watch more from Ryan on iFollow PNE.