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First Team News

Ryan: “We’re Expecting A Tough Encounter”

3 February 2022

Ryan Lowe knows his Preston North End side are in for a “tough encounter” on Saturday as they face an in-form Hull City.

PNE travel to the MKM Stadium to take on the Tigers who go in to the game on the back of three successive victories, all without conceding a goal.

There has been a lot of change there recently, too, with Acun Ilicali completing his takeover of the club, while Shota Arveladze has replaced Grant McCann as manager.

On the hosts, Ryan told iFollow PNE: “They’ve been fantastic. To lose your job after getting three back-to-back wins is harsh, but obviously when a new owner comes in things change.

“I thought Grant and Cliff [Byrne] did a fantastic job there and they deserve every credit for where they are now. I think they were on a great run of form before they lost their jobs so credit where credit’s due to them.

“Obviously a new manager’s come in to the building looking to stamp his authority down on what he wants so that’s why we’re expecting a tough encounter, we know that, but it’s about how we go about our business.

“We’ll put a game plan together. We’ll respect Hull for what they are and where they are in form at the moment, but it’s about what we do.”

The manager will have some tough decisions to make at the weekend in terms of selection, with Daniel Johnson back available to him after missing the last three games through international duty.

Alan Browne and Patrick Bauer were named as substitutes on Tuesday night to manage their fitness during the current busy schedule, with Ali McCann and Liam Lindsay coming in to replace them, so there are more than a few options available to Ryan.

He said: “We’ve definitely got freshness in the group. We can change at any time, we’ve had a few changes, but the lads have gone in there and done well.

“It’s tough isn’t it as a manager, the tough decisions you have to make, but I’ll make them on the basis of the team, not me.

“It’ll be on the basis of the team and what we feel can go to Hull and get a result, that’ll be the team that’s selected.

“We’ve got some good lads and some fantastic players. Since we’ve come through the door, everyone’s champing at the bit to get a game of football, everyone’s champing at the bit in training to work hard to get in the squad, let alone the starting XI, and we want that to continue.

“We want competition for places and I think we certainly have that.”

As mentioned above, Johnson will be back involved, with the midfielder set to join up with the team on Friday after he lands back from international duty.

Asked if he’s looking forward to welcoming his No.11 back, Ryan said: “Of course but the lads have done fantastic since he’s been away.

“Ryan [Ledson] has played in there, Ali [McCann] has played in there, it just adds competition for places.

“DJ’s been an integral part of what we’ve been doing of late, scoring a few goals, [getting] assists and it’ll be a big boost for not just me and the staff, but a big boost for the players and the football club to have him back.”

Watch Ryan's full interview on iFollow PNE above.


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