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First Team News

Ryan Challenges Younger Players To Keep Pushing

2 July 2022

Ryan Lowe was pleased with the performances of some of his younger players against Bamber Bridge and says it’s up to them to keep performing to stay in and around the first team.

The likes of Mikey O’Neill and Aaron Bennett, alongside a few scholars, were involved in the 3-0 victory at the Sir Tom Finney Stadium.

The manager has not been scared to get the younger players involved, with several of them joining in with pre-season training, and he’s looking for them to keep up the good work.

Ryan told iFollow: “Mikey scored a fantastic goal from a fantastic cross from Lewis [Coulton], and Aaron’s involved in the other one, so I’m really pleased with them but they’ve got to do more.

“We know that, and they know that. While they’re here with us, they’ve got to perform on a weekly basis to make sure they stay with us, because obviously we want to get more bodies through the door and when the bodies come through the best men stay basically, that’s the way it is.

“I’m really pleased for them. They showed some good signs, the first team lads you know what you’re going to get out of them, the senior pros, but I’m really pleased with the minutes they’ve got in their legs today.”

Two different XIs took on Bamber Bridge on Saturday afternoon, and with the game goalless at half-time, Ben Whiteman was the man to open the scoring shortly in to the second period.

Former Liverpool midfielder Ben Woodburn, who is currently on trial with PNE, doubled North End’s lead, finishing off a nice move on 56 minutes.

“Ben Woodburn’s a quality footballer, we know that,” Ryan added.

“I said to him before the game ‘go and showcase what you can do’ and he’s done that.

“I thought his jump on them every time we were pressing was fantastic. His game knowledge [means] he knows what to do and when to drop down.

“Him and Ben Whiteman had a good little interchange in there which was pleasing. His goal was a class goal, great link-up and he puts it in the bottom corner so we know what Ben Woodburn’s got, he’s got fantastic qualities and he’s done fine.”

Over 2,000 fans were in attendance at the fixture which traditionally kicks off North End’s pre-season schedule.

Given that last year's fixture was forced to be moved behind closed doors at Euxton, due to a waterlogged pitch, it was good to see so many back in attendance.

Ryan said: “It's great. You see them all in the clubhouse and all the kids running round screaming and shouting, especially behind our dugouts they didn’t shut up all game.

“It’s great and that’s what you want. A large part of these fans are ours so I’m really pleased to see them all today in the sun, the rain stayed off for them, and they’ve all got their beers behind the goals and the dugouts.

“I’m really pleased to see them all and I’m sure they’ll have been pleased with the performance today.”

Watch the manager's full interview on iFollow PNE for free above.

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