Ryan Lowe was pleased with large parts of his side’s performance in their victory over Accrington Stanley, but feels there are still things to work on during the next two weeks.
Preston North End came out 1-0 winners at the Wham Stadium, thanks to a goal from Emil Riis in the first half, after Daniel Johnson had seen a penalty saved earlier on.
Johnson was the man to find Riis for the goal, in what was a nice move, and there was plenty of that in the first half in particular, but there were still aspects of the performance which the manager wasn’t fully happy with.
He told iFollow PNE: “I thought some parts of the performance were okay.
“Large parts of it in terms of the aggression and how we went about our business against a tough Accrington Stanley team was very good because you’re going to come up against teams like that in the Championship.
“They’re very physical, very strong, quite direct in certain areas so really pleased.
“I thought we could have had a couple more goals. DJ’s penalty, okay he should score but the ‘keepers made a good save, and I think Ched [Evans] should score from a great cross from Robbie [Brady].
“Emil’s in there for a little tap in after good work from DJ. We’re probably well worthy of a win, but it’s irrelevant the win, it’s about getting more minutes into the lads.
“It was nice to see so many of our fans here, just over a thousand was good.
“It’s more minutes in the lads. Some good stuff, some not so good stuff, but the good stuff we can continue to work on, the stuff that isn’t really quite right at the moment we can work on that as well.”
The victory over Stanley was North End’s fourth game of pre-season, and there are now just two more to come.
Those will both take place at Deepdale, with Hearts and Leicester to arrive in Lancashire on Wednesday and Saturday respectively.
Lowe is looking for his players to put in some top performances in training and in those fixtures to earn a place in the side come the opening day of the new season.
He said: “I said to the group today at Euxton before we left when we had pre-match that ‘it’s over to you now, you’ve had two and a half weeks of real hard work and it’s about football now. Go and stake a claim to start the first game of the season against Wigan Athletic.’
“That’s the key to it. We’ve got two more, there’s some that are shining, some that need to do more, but what we’ve got to do with the group is say it’s over to them now.
“If they perform well enough to get in the starting XI against Wigan then they’ll have deserved it.
“It’s over to them. We’ve got two more, I want big performances, keep going now as we asked for today and it’ll be down to them who starts the first game of the season.
“I’m really looking forward to that. I have to pick the team but every single one of them players are well worthy of a start at the moment.”