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First Team News

Gaffer Previews QPR Clash At Deepdale

15 December 2022

Manager Ryan Lowe will be putting friendships aside this weekend when Neil Critchley brings his Queens Park Rangers outfit to Deepdale.

The former Blackpool and Liverpool U23 head coach, who has recently left Aston Villa, was appointed at Loftus Road last weekend and this will be the first game in charge of his new side.

They arrive in Lancashire on the back of a six-game winless run, following a positive start to the season which saw them in and around the promotion places.

Ryan told iFollow PNE: “I’ve known Critch for many years, and Michael Garrity and Ian Brunskill who have gone in there as well are fantastic coaches and good people.

“It’ll be friendship aside at three o’clock I must say until ten to five or five to five.

“Queens Park Rangers have got some fantastic players; they didn’t start breaking into the top two for no reason.

“They had a bit of a mixture of results because there was a little bit of turmoil over the manager whether he was staying or going, and then when he went Paul Hall stepped in for a game and coached his players.

“I think they’ve got some good quality individual players, and collectively they’ll be a good team.

“I think Critch will go in there and put his stamp on it, but ultimately it’s about what we do.”

For North End, they’ll be looking to follow up what was a fantastic performance and victory against Blackburn Rovers last weekend, leaving Ewood Park with a 4-1 win.

It’ll be the first game at Deepdale, though, for all of five weeks, given the recent break for the World Cup.

“We always look forward to getting back to Deepdale in front of our fans,” Ryan added.

“The performance at the weekend was fantastic and we want to try and replicate that performance, and if we do then obviously results come your way.

“We know it’s going to be a tough encounter against a good Queens Park Rangers team who have just changed their manager and got a new head coach in, but we’re really looking forward to getting back.”

For that win at Ewood Park, North End were missing several first team players through injury, including the likes of Alan Browne, Ali McCann and Emil Riis.

Four Academy players had a place on the bench, with all four coming on as late substitutes, and while the manager is confident with whoever he names as part of the squad, he is hopeful of at least one being back available.

He said: “We’ll have a couple of them training back with us today.

“Then we’ll see how they work today and whether they come through that.

“We’ll finish off tomorrow [Friday]. We’ll definitely have one back, if not two, but it all depends how they go on in training today.”

Watch Ryan's full interview on iFollow PNE above.


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