Ryan Lowe was on the whole pleased with his side’s performance against Premier League side Leicester City as the Lilywhites played out an entertaining final pre-season friendly of the summer at Deepdale.
Jamie Vardy and Harvey Barnes struck early in an opening 45 minutes which Ryan felt was ‘okay in patches’, before the Lilywhites changed things up slightly in the second half – in which Ali McCann pulled a goal back – to the satisfaction of the gaffer.
Although North End could only pull one goal back in the second half, Ryan was pleased with the ‘fantastic test’ that the Foxes provided for his players.
He told iFollow PNE: “Second half was good, first half was okay in patches. We wanted to try [something] a little bit different in terms of the personnel in different positions.
“We gifted them two goals. The first one was a great goal by them, even the second one for their behalf, but for us we felt we could have dealt with it.
“We made a couple of changes second half, we were a lot better, on the front foot a little bit more. Without being disrespectful, I thought the first half we showed a bit too much respect.
“Second half we came out with a different attitude, a different style, different intensity, and we were well worthy of a goal and potentially another one chalked offside. Our mate Daniel [Iversen] has made a great save from a good strike from Jordan Storey.
“Really pleased with the second half performance and I’m more pleased now that we’re through pre-season without potentially any injuries.
“I thought the second half performance was fantastic in a different way, with another striker on the pitch.
“We’ve got to make sure that we give ourselves the best opportunity of getting results. If that’s making one or two changes and different personnel then we’ll certainly do it.”
Overlapping centre backs was a feature of North End’s play, particularly in the second half, as Andrew Hughes provided the cross for McCann’s header.
“It worked last season,” Lowe continued. “This season we’ve implemented a bit more of what we want them to do and how we want them to play. We’re asking them to be brave against a Premier League team but sometimes you can’t be too brave, you’ve got to be a little bit respectful.
“I thought they were fantastic at stepping in at the right times on the front foot. You can see the patterns of play we work on, on a daily basis, and getting involved and joining in.
“The more they do that, the better, because as you’ve seen, I think our goal came down the left-hand side from Hughesy doing it and joining in and a great cross from Ali. Really pleased overall with the performance, especially second half.”
North End appear to have come through their final outing of pre-season without any additional injury woes, as Lowe spoke of the players’ recovery period over the coming days and Monday’s open training session, ahead of next weekend’s league opener at Wigan Athletic.
“We’ve got to make sure that we’re all alright Monday morning first and foremost.
“For them to get through it, the lads who only played certain amount of minutes was meant to be, we wanted to make sure they gave everyone the calculated numbers of what they need. We’ve certainly done that and hopefully Monday morning we’ve come unscathed.
“The lads will have a rest day tomorrow, recovery day, we’ve got our open training day Monday which will be slightly second day recovery, but we’ll do a little bit of tactics stuff maybe in the video anaylsis room and then we’ll work Tuesday right the way onto the week for the Wigan game.
“Really looking forward to it now, it’s obviously around the corner, a week away, and we just can’t wait.”
Watch the full interview from Ryan on iFollow PNE now.