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First Team News

Ryan On ‘Very Strong’ Millwall Side

13 April 2022

Ryan Lowe views Play-Off pushing Millwall as a “very strong opponent”, but he’s looking for his side to extend their positive form at Deepdale.

The Lions, managed by Gary Rowett, have made a dart for the top six in the past few months, with a fantastic run of form between February and March pushing them up the table.

Heading into Friday’s fixture, they sit four points outside of the Play-Off spots with just five games left of the campaign.

The sides last met at the beginning of February, drawing 0-0 at The Den, with Ben Whiteman missing from the spot that night.

“It was tight,” Ryan said to iFollow PNE. “Obviously we missed a penalty but I think they’ve been in a great run of form Millwall and they’re going to look to continue that, but we’ve got to make sure we try and stop it.

“We’re in a good run of form, especially at home. We’ve won the last two, so the game plan’s got to be spot on, and if it is and our lads go out and do what they’ve done the last couple of games then I’ll be pleased.

“But Millwall are a very strong opponent and they’re looking to try and sneak into the Play-Offs.”

As mentioned by the manager, PNE’s form at Deepdale in recent months has been positive, losing just once in the last 11 games at home, with four wins in that time.

Three of those have come in the last three games, and with only Millwall, Blackburn Rovers and Middlesbrough left to come to Deepdale this season, Ryan is looking for that form to continue.

Ryan added: “We’d have liked to have had a few more wins. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not for the lack of trying, but we’ve definitely found it’s a tough place to come for other teams and we want to make sure of that.

“If we continue to pick up points and especially win games, then the more games you win the more opposition teams will think it’s going to be a tough place to go and that’s what we want.”

Away from the first team, the U19s were crowned champions of the Youth Alliance North West Conference on Tuesday afternoon, after beating Port Vale 8-1.

Mikey O’Neill was one of the men on the scoresheet, making for a fantastic few days for the 17-year-old after he made his senior bow for the club in the weekend’s victory over Queens Park Rangers.

Ryan said: “Fantastic, congratulations to Nick [Harrison], Fenners [Andy Fensome] and all the coaching staff and the players, it’s a brilliant achievement.

“But the next achievement now is I want players to be brought up to the training ground for me to play them or to put them in the squad like we have done with Mikey.

“I think Mikey’s the first of many hopefully for a long time, but I want these players who have got big futures and the so-called little stars to start pushing on now.

“The youth team sit behind us and to the side of us every home game, and they’ve seen what we’re trying to do.

“They listen to me screaming and shouting on the sidelines and listen to the coaches, what we’re doing, and they’ve seen their mate Mikey go and make his debut.

“I don’t just want one, I want two or three because I think that’s where we need to try and take the football club as well.

“We’re obviously building for the future, but we’re also building to have a good Academy, good footballers that when called upon can hold their own in the Championship with Preston North End.”

Watch the full interview with the manager on iFollow PNE.

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