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First Team News

Ryan: “I’ve Always Loved The FA Cup”

6 January 2022

Manager Ryan Lowe is a big fan of the FA Cup and he's hoping a victory this weekend can set up a tie against a "top Premier League team" in the fourth round.

Preston North End kick off their cup campaign with a trip to South Wales on Sunday afternoon to face Cardiff City behind closed doors.

Being the oldest club competition in world football, Ryan respects its history and he’s excited about the possibility of a cup run, but knows they have to get past their Championship counterparts first.

Ryan told iFollow PNE: “First and foremost I love the FA Cup. It’s one of the best competitions in the country.

“I’ve always loved the FA Cup and I always want to try and strive to get into the echelons of the fourth and fifth round, and when you’re at a Championship football club you want to keep progressing to see where it takes you.

“Not only that, but you want to go and potentially have a day out somewhere at a top Premier League team, so you can take the fans and your friends and family, and the football club can have a day out.

“It’s very rare you get past the fourth round, so that’ll be the aim. We’re going to go to Cardiff, we’re high on confidence a little bit, we’ve had two fantastic wins, scored some good goals, but we know Cardiff are going to pose a big threat.”

What can’t really be anticipated ahead of a cup clash is how many changes a team will opt to make away from the busy league schedule.

Ryan himself says he may look to give some players an opportunity who maybe haven’t recently seen much action, while Steve Morison and Cardiff may be preparing to do the same, although Ryan is anticipating they will play their normal game.

He added: “Steve’s done fantastic. I’m really pleased that Cardiff have given one of their own an opportunity to showcase what he can do.

“He’s picked up some good results. They have a style which is their style and that’s fine, but we’ve just got to make sure we’re ready for whatever style they throw at us.

“Whether they make changes or not, the personnel might change, but I don’t think the style will.

“We’ve got to make sure we respect every team, but we can’t fear them. We’ve got to toe to toe with whoever we come up against and that’ll be no different against Cardiff.”

North End head into the game following back-to-back victories under the new manager, albeit those matches were over three weeks apart.

PNE beat Stoke City 2-1 on Monday afternoon as they came back from a goal down away from home, and that has unsurprisingly led to high spirits in the camp.

“There’s always a buzz [after a win]," he said. "The dressing room’s bouncing, the morale around the place, the canteen, but it’s done now, it’s gone and we’ve got to move on.

“It was a fantastic performance, a fantastic win, but we can’t get too high and we can’t get too low.

“It was a day off yesterday [Tuesday] of resting their brain in terms of the football and then we’re right back at it today until the end of the week for Cardiff, so we're all pleased and happy with the performance [against Stoke].

“We’ll debrief the game – me and the staff – to look at some stuff where we feel we can be a little bit better, and we’ll obviously try and take that into the performance away on Sunday against Cardiff.”

Watch Ryan's full interview on iFollow PNE at the top of this page.

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