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First Team News

Gaffer Appreciates Support ‘Immensely’

24 February 2022

First Team News

Gaffer Appreciates Support ‘Immensely’

24 February 2022

Ryan Lowe says he appreciates the support from PNE fans immensely as around 2,500 supporters prepare to make the journey to Coventry this weekend.

Preston North End face Coventry City on Saturday afternoon and they will again be backed by a large away following, with fewer than 500 tickets remaining from the allocation which comes to just under 3,000.

Ryan told iFollow PNE: “We appreciate it immensely, they know that. The support the other night was fantastic and the away support’s been bob on since I’ve come through the door.

“But what we’ve got to do is give them something to cheer about. We’ve got to give them something to sing about.

“If we do that, have a good start and can get about Coventry [then great]. They’re a good team, it’s two good teams for me locking horns to try and get three points, and we’ve got to make sure we can give our fans something to shout about and hopefully send them home happy.”

In North End’s way this weekend is a Coventry City side currently sat ninth in the Championship table, just three points behind sixth-placed Sheffield United.

Mark Robins, in the fifth full season of his current spell in charge of the Sky Blues, has turned his side into serious promotion contenders, having spent essentially the entire season so far in and around the Play-Off spots.

On what he expects from them, Ryan said: “A good team, well-drilled, well-coached and they’re doing fantastic.

“They’ve been in the Championship now for a couple of years and they play the right way for me, and it’s going to be a tough encounter. They all are.

“You only have to look at the results last night and the night before. The results can kick up some crazy results, can’t they?

“What we’ll do is we’ll respect Coventry City for what they are, what they’re doing and how they’re going about their business, but we’ve got to go toe to toe with them because ultimately we’re in decent form ourselves.

“What we need to start doing is collecting more points and if we can collect more points it will shoot us up the table, so Saturday’s another big game and it’s one I’m really looking forward to.”

In PNE’s last game, the goalless draw at home to Nottingham Forest, Ryan was forced into a change as Patrick Bauer limped off with an injury – something which will be assessed ahead of Saturday.

Josh Earl was his replacement, which meant Andrew Hughes – who had started at left wing back – had to move back to being the left-sided defender in the back three.

Ryan also made a formation change in the previous fixture, going 4-3-3 in an attempt to change the way of the game against Reading.

He added: “The lads can all play different formations and personnel. What you don’t want to do is throw someone out into a position they’ve never played.

“I think Hughesy knows that side. He was more like a defensive wing back for us against Forest because he had to be, we had to respect their strengths.

“But when you’ve got that and Sepp [van den Berg] can go to right back, Hughesy to left back with two centre halves, whatever formation you decide to go with, it’s having that adaptability with the players, and credit to them because they’re the ones that go out there and perform to it.

“The favoured formation is a 3-5-2, we know that, we’ve proved it’s worked, but we won’t be afraid to change it if needed.”

Watch the manager’s full interview on iFollow PNE.

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