Ryan Lowe expects to come up against a good footballing side on Saturday afternoon when PNE take on Cardiff City.
The Bluebirds, managed by Steve Morison, have taken seven points from their opening five games, and they’re almost a completely new-look side following a very busy summer of transfers.
They had a free midweek, while North End were in Carabao Cup action, and they go into the weekend’s fixture after defeat last Sunday against Bristol City.
Ryan said: “I expect a footballing side under Steve Morison; I think he’s doing a terrific job.
“He’s got some good players in, he’s recruited smartly and they’re playing a different brand to what Cardiff used to play.
“We know it’s going to be a tough encounter, especially with their fans, and going to their stadium’s always tough, but it’s one we’re looking forward to.
“They have had a lot of change and there’s different personnel, but I think any Steve Morison team is always going to compete no matter what.”
PNE have taken on Morison’s side twice in South Wales since Ryan took over as manager, losing in the FA Cup and drawing 0-0 in the league back in March.
It’ll be a very different team which North End will take on this weekend, though, given that just two players who started the last time PNE went to South Wales lined up for the Bluebirds from the start last weekend.
Despite the amount of new faces, Ryan feels they have quickly come to terms with how their manager wants them to play.
He said: “I think they’ve settled in quite well to be fair. They’re opening some teams up and playing some good stuff and working up the pitch in the 4-3-3.
“They’ve got some exciting players who can take the ball on the half turn and get you up the pitch, and they play out from the back, and we know that’s what they’re going to try and do.
“Alright, they can go long a few times, but I don’t think it’s going to take them three or four months to settle in. I think they’ve definitely settled in now.
“Steve will have done that and drilled that into them from day one of pre-season of how they want to go about their business, so we know it’s going to be a tough encounter.
“But, as I said before, it’s one where Steve will look the other way and think it’s going to be a tough encounter because of the way we’ve been playing, so I’m looking forward to it.”
For North End, there could potentially be a return for Manchester United loanee Álvaro Fernández, with the left wing back now back out on the grass.
Bambo Diaby and Sean Maguire are expected to again miss out, while the extent of Andrew Hughes’ shoulder injury will be assessed.
The Welshman has been a part of the defensive unit who are yet to concede this Championship term, but at the other end only one goal has gone in so far.
Ryan is certainly not unhappy with the chances being created, though, and remains confident that his style of play will soon result in goals being scored.
He added: “We’ve still got to do the right things, we’ve still got to go about our business the right way and still play the way we want to play, and that’s through the thirds, getting the ball wide and getting the ball in the box.
“That’s how we play, it’ll be no different and everyone knows that. It’s no secret.
“But the fact of the matter is we’ve got to make sure we find the corners rather than the ‘keeper’s hands, or the crossbar and the post, and along the way if a little bit of luck comes your way from a deflected shot or whatever it may be, then fine, we’ll take it of course, but we’ve just got to make sure we keep doing the right things.”