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First Team News

Ryan Looking To ‘Finish On A High’

14 March 2022

First Team News

Ryan Looking To ‘Finish On A High’

14 March 2022

Before a two-and-a-half-week break from Championship fixtures, Ryan Lowe is looking for his side to “finish on a high” in Wednesday’s game against Luton Town.

Preston North End head to Kenilworth Road to take on the side currently sat seventh in the Championship before then not playing again until 2nd April.

The Hatters come in to the game having lost at the weekend against Queens Park Rangers, but before that they had won five of their previous seven home games.

Ryan told iFollow PNE: “Luton’s going to be another tough encounter. I watched them yesterday, I thought it was going to be a draw, but then obviously QPR found a way to win and Nathan [Jones] will be disappointed with that because it could have catapulted them into fourth, but they’re still in the mix so we’ve got to go there and worry about ourselves.

“Nathan will have to worry about his team in terms of where they’re trying to get to, and as I’ve said there’s no pressure on us, the pressure’s on them and where they’re trying to get to.

“We know it’s going to be an entertaining game; he does it right Nathan. The fans get behind them definitely down there.

“It’s one we’re looking forward to, it’s another game before we have a two-and-a-half week break, so we want to obviously finish on a high and hopefully try and get some points, and if we do that we can have a nice break before we’re back at it for the following game.”

With Luton having one of the smaller budgets in the division, Ryan was complimentary of the job which manager Nathan Jones has done at Kenilworth Road.

The Welshman was the man to take the club from League Two into League One, and he was set to earn them promotion to the Championship before joining Stoke City in January 2019.

He returned to Luton in May 2020, helping to keep them in the second tier and he’s since turned them into a side pushing towards the top end of the division.

Ryan added: “Nathan’s done a fantastic job since he came in. He did a fantastic job before he left really, but he was headhunted to go to a club like Stoke City.

“I don’t think the Luton fans will be too happy with me saying but it was an opportunity he couldn’t turn down, and [it was great for him] to get the opportunity to come back to Luton and do what he’s doing.

“He’s a fantastic bloke, he’s a good character. He’s very anxious at times, he’s a winner, and he wants to try and win every game he possibly can.

“He’s done an unbelievable job along with big Mick Harford who I know quite well, and Nathan, and he’s got a good strong backroom staff there with them.

“The core of it, the togetherness of the team you can see. He recruits very well because he doesn’t have a big budget, and he’s probably outperformed his budget, but that’s what we’re here to do as managers who don’t get the big budgets, you’ve got to find that way and Nathan’s certainly doing that.”

Ryan is hopeful of being able to include Liam Lindsay and Alan Browne, who both came off with separate issues at the weekend, but one man who won’t be available is midfielder Ryan Ledson.

The 24-year-old will miss the remainder of the season as he is set to undergo an operation on a recurring knee injury.

The manager said: “His knee’s fine in a way, but ultimately he needs another little bit of a clear out in there and I couldn’t risk Ryan until the end of the season by putting him into a game.

“I wouldn’t have been able to live with myself if he was to take a nasty injury or challenge and that would be Ryan, so I took it out of his hands.

“I said ‘go and get the operation as soon as you possibly can’ and he’s due to get the operation in ten days’ time I think it is.

“That will see him finished now until the end of the season and then hopefully we can get Ryan back as himself, 100 per cent, for pre-season and we’ll have the Ryan Ledson who everyone has seen what he does.”

Watch the manager's full pre-match interview for free on iFollow PNE.

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