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First Team News

Gaffer Disappointed With ‘Avoidable’ Stoke Goals

15 October 2022

Ryan Lowe felt the two goals his side conceded in the home defeat to Stoke City were “definitely avoidable”.

The visitors opened the scoring on 58 minutes through Will Smallbone, who found the bottom corner after meeting Dwight Gayle’s cross from the left.

Visiting striker Tyrese Campbell then sealed the victory just eight minutes later, being sent through on goal before beating Freddie Woodman.

Asked if he was disappointed with the goals conceded, Ryan said: “Definitely because Dwight Gayle dips in and dips out, makes a great run in behind and manages to get a great cross in.

“He pulls it back to where we knew they were going to pull them balls back to, into the 18-yard box, and we haven’t tracked that run and Smallbone’s got a free shot on goal.

“Then the second one is one long ball over the top. It’s a good pass from their player – I think he’s seen the pass – and we sort of nearly deal with it.

“Bambo [Diaby] stands him up, and he puts it in the bottom corner. So for the goals, we haven’t been opened up as such where they’ve worked some patterns of play through us. The goals are definitely avoidable.”

While the sides went into the break level, PNE had a few chances in the first 45 minutes, and likewise a few penalty shouts.

The best of the lot came in the first minute of stoppage time, where Stoke midfielder Josh Laurent cleared the ball against what manager Ryan Lowe feels was Phil Jagielka’s arm.

The manager said: “I thought the first 15 minutes they were on top of us, and then after that I thought we found our foot in the game.

“I thought we had some half-decent chances. Jordan [Storey] had one half cleared off the line and blocked.

“Bambo had one blocked, and then it’s a big moment when we’re calling for a penalty.

“Hughesy [Andrew Hughes] has one where he just loses his footing, that’s definitely not [a penalty], but there’s one where it hits Jagielka’s arm, and if it hits your arm it’s a penalty. It doesn’t matter how it’s hit your arm, so I’m disappointed with that.”

The manager made three changes for this game from the midweek defeat to Bristol City – two of which were enforced due to injuries to Daniel Johnson (groin) and Liam Lindsay (hamstring).

Changes were perhaps likely anyway given the current schedule of the Championship, and the nature of the division has been highlighted for North End in the recent run, having celebrated back-to-back wins just this time last week.

Ryan added: “That’s why you never get too high and never get too low.

“We had the back-to-back wins and then we travel all the way to Bristol, and we find ourselves drawing and nearly taking a point.

“Then today you find yourselves 0-0 at half-time and well in the game, and two goals kill you off, so it is massive from last week to this week.

“We were on a bit of a high, but we couldn’t get too carried away, to this week where we’ve lost two.

“The quicker we get back on the bike and get back to doing some basics to try to collect some more points, the better.”

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