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First Team News

Ryan Relishing Premier League Test

22 August 2022

First Team News

Ryan Relishing Premier League Test

22 August 2022

Ryan Lowe says his side are relishing coming up against a Premier League outfit on Tuesday evening when they face Wolves in the second round of the Carabao Cup.

PNE made it through the first round thanks to an emphatic 4-1 victory over Huddersfield Town, whereas Bruno Lage’s side enter the competition at this stage.

North End will travel to Molineux for a 7.45pm kick-off on Tuesday evening, as the two sides go head to head for a place in the third round.

Asked if he’s looking forward to the test, Ryan told iFollow PNE: “Definitely, when you get to the second round of the Carabao Cup and you get drawn against a Premier League team in Wolves who have been fantastic under their manager.

“They play a good brand of football, and they’ve got some fantastic players.

“It’s a big test, but it’s a test that we’re really relishing.”

Wolves perhaps haven’t had the start to the season which they’d have liked, having picked up a single point from their opening three fixtures.

However, there certainly isn’t a lack of quality within their ranks, with the likes of Adama Traoré and Raúl Jiménez being used only as substitutes in the weekend’s defeat to Tottenham Hotspur, albeit they have both been injured recently.

Ryan added: “It will be a very strong side because they’ve got some quality, and as you’ve just mentioned the two names there, let alone the rest that’ll probably play.

“They’ve probably got enough bodies to change the whole squad, which is fine, but whatever team they put out, we’ve just got to go there and give a good account of ourselves.

“We’ll be making a few changes ourselves because we feel it’s important to give the lads some minutes who haven’t had it in the games that are coming thick and fast, but it’s a good test for us.”

PNE have made it in to the third round of this competition in six of the last seven campaigns, and will be looking to do the same on Tuesday evening.

Joining in the third round of the Carabao Cup will be the Premier League sides involved in European football this season, so the prospect of a big tie could await the winner.

“The cup runs are fantastic and that’s what you want,” added Ryan. “When you get to the second or third round, whether it’s the FA Cup third round, or the Carabao Cup second or third round, that’s where the big teams start coming in.

“Obviously we’ve got Wolves now and it’d be nice to get through to the third round, and then you’ve got another big hitter, and you’ll have another day out or even at home.

“But we’ve got to take each game as it comes and the next one’s Wolves so we’ll prepare right for that and see where it takes us.

“I think any football club in the Championship fancies a cup run in any cup, whatever the cup is, so tomorrow’s going to be no different for us.”

The manager made six changes for the opening round of the competition, and is again looking to hand out opportunities to players who haven’t featured too often.

Ryan provided an injury update to those who missed the weekend’s draw against Watford, as well as Andrew Hughes, who was forced off early in that game due to a shoulder injury.

He said: “Álvaro [Fernández] is now running. Bambo [Diaby] is not going to be available but he’s making good progress, and Seani [Maguire] has obviously trained the last couple of days.

“I asked the medical team yesterday would he be available for the squad and they said it was too soon because he missed a lot of pre-season, but it’s a big plus to have him training.”

On Hughes, he added: “We’ll monitor him today. We’ll see where his shoulder’s at, but he wasn’t down to play anyway tomorrow so that’s good news, and we’ll see where we go with the rest of them, but they’re all on the mend.”

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