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First Team News

Gaffer On ‘Fantastic’ End To Season

7 May 2022

First Team News

Gaffer On ‘Fantastic’ End To Season

7 May 2022

Ryan Lowe admitted the 4-1 home victory over Middlesbrough was a “fantastic way to end the season”.

Preston North End were the dominant side at Deepdale from minute one, despite Chris Wilder’s side arriving in Lancashire still in with a chance of finishing in a Play-Off place.

Alan Browne opened the scoring, and Emil Riis got himself a hat-trick to surpass 20 goals in all competitions for the season, meaning North End finished 13th in the Championship.

“It’s a fantastic way to end the season,” Ryan told iFollow PNE. “I thought the lads were fantastic in everything they did.

“The game plan: they stuck to it, they dealt with it. The objectives we gave them were to go and get the result to send the fans home happy, so it was perfect.

“I must say I think sometimes you look at them performances and think why weren’t they a few weeks or a couple of months down the line.

“I think the performances have been there, it’s just the results that haven’t, so I thought they were fantastic from start to finish so fair play to the boys.”

The manager gave Paul Huntington – who will leave the club at the end of his contract this summer – the final ten minutes of the game, as the defender came on to make his 306th and final appearance for the football club.

He received a fitting reception from the Preston North End fans, and was also presented at the end of the game with a shield in recognition for his service to the club.

“I’m buzzing for him,” added Ryan. “It’s emotional sometimes because I know what it’s like.

“I’ve been there when I was at Bury and they released me. We made a special day of it and said thanks for everything, I wasn’t there for ten years, but for Hunts I said to him don’t worry I’ll make sure we give him a special send off.

“Ultimately I’ve got to take the football club in a different direction. He’s had his time, he’s done his bit, he’s been a fantastic leader, a fantastic captain, and a fantastic servant to the football club.

“He knows now where he’s at and we’ve got to try and make sure we get the football club back to where we feel it should be, competing in the top half of the division, so he’s played a part in that over the years and it was a nice send-off for him and a lovely touch from the fans.”

While recruitment is already well underway for the new season, Ryan can now devote full focus to the next campaign.

Conversations with those set to be out of contract will take place on Sunday, with a retained list to follow next week, and then the focus will turn to incomings.

Ryan said: “The group we’ve got are fantastic, we just need a little bit more [in terms of] additions.

“Even the group that’s behind the group at the moment, I know there’s a lot of people out of contract, some will be going, some will be staying, but the fact of the matter is we need to make sure we’ve got a good 22 players who can compete with each other and try and find a way into the team.

“It’ll be a straight shootout between you and your mate in them positions and that’s what I want, I want competition for places.

“We’ve got competition for places, but we need a little bit more, and if we can find that little bit more and get extra quality in and around then we’ll have a good squad next season to compete with each other to try and get where we want to get to.”

Watch Ryan's full interview on iFollow PNE above.

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