Ryan Lowe is “really excited” to return to Deepdale this Saturday, more than a month on from the last home game, and his first as PNE manager.
Since that match at Deepdale on 11th December, North End have played twice and both away from home, so the weekend’s visit of Birmingham City is the gaffer’s second chance to take in the Deepdale surroundings from the dugout.
Especially given that the last game – Sunday's FA Cup defeat against Cardiff City – was played in front of no supporters, Ryan is looking forward to being back in front of the fans.
“I’m really excited about it, I can’t wait,” he told iFollow PNE. “I’m excited every time I walk out as Preston North End manager to represent this football club, to represent my team and get them playing the style of play we want.
“Saturday’s going to be no different, albeit there’s going to be hopefully a lot more fans there to see it [than last weekend] and it’s up to me, the staff and the players to come up with a game plan that they can be excited about.”
It will be a busy period which follows the Birmingham game, with weekend-midweek-weekend fixtures running until the middle of February.
After such a disjointed schedule since his arrival, though, Ryan is glad to see a run of fixtures coming up.
On his first month in charge, Ryan said: “It’s been up and down a little bit. Don’t get me wrong I’d have preferred it just to go the way it was going to go, the fixture schedule.
“Now we’ve had to pencil them in and the ones that we’ve missed are all coming back to back, but it’s football, everyone’s doing the same thing up and down the country.
“We’ve had one or two situations where games have been called off, but now I’ve got to put game plans together to try and execute, and that’ll be our main focus over the next few weeks.
“We’ve had a good week with the group this week, next week will be tapered down again because it’s Saturday, Tuesday, so we’ll only have a couple of days.
“I’m excited about it don’t get me wrong because the games are coming thick and fast. We’re really looking forward to it, but it will be probably chaotic and a little bit hectic over the next couple of weeks.”
On Thursday morning, the manager said he would have 21 players out on the training pitch, and with such a run of fixtures coming up, there may be the opportunity to make changes along the way.
Ryan added: “We’ve got to make sure we recover right. We’re ready for it and if we keep putting the game plans together for the lads to go and execute then hopefully we can go and take a lot of points from these next few games.
“But more importantly the squad have got to stick together through thick and thin.
“There is going to be one or two changes along the way because we’re going to need to freshen it up so it’s my job to make sure all the players are ready when called upon.”
Watch Ryan's full interview now on iFollow PNE.