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First Team News

Gaffer Wants Play-Off Push To Reach Final Day

27 April 2023

Ryan Lowe is looking for his side to give themselves the best chance of being within reach of the top six come the final day of the season.

This Saturday, North End will head to South Yorkshire to take on a Sheffield United side who have already sealed their fate, with Premier League football on its way back to Bramall Lane next season.

For PNE, they currently sit within two points of the top six with two games remaining and will likely need a result against the Blades to keep themselves within contention of claiming a Play-Off place on the final day.

Ryan said: “Everyone’s going to get excited, of course, but Saturday first and foremost is our main priority. 

“If we can get through Saturday with a good result and take it to the last game of the season, we know what’s at stake. 

“We know that the cameras are going to be back and forth to different grounds and it’ll be 1-0 there, 2-0 here, 2-1 there.

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“All we’ve got to do is give ourselves the best possible chance of being in the mix with one game to go at home.”

In Sheffield United, North End are facing a side who are fresh from confirming their place in the top flight – joining Burnley – after a 2-0 win at home to West Bromwich Albion on Wednesday.

Paul Heckingbottom’s side have spent the majority of the campaign within the top two and, with their promotion confirmed, changes in personnel could well be made.

Ryan said: “Congratulations first and foremost to Hecky. I think he’s done a fantastic job, and obviously Vincent Kompany. 

“They’re the two teams who’ve been by far the best teams in the division and obviously being first and second have now gone to the Premier League. 

“But we’ll have to wait and see what it looks like on Saturday first and foremost.

“I know the celebrations will have gone on right through the night and rightly so because I’d have been in the same position.

“Again, there’s still a tough team to play. They’ve got some good players and they’re well supported of course, so we’re going to go there with our gameplan and hopefully the lads can perform to the levels and hopefully we can get a result.”

PNE will once again be backed by magnificent numbers on the road, with 1,900 tickets being sold for the trip to Sheffield United, as of Thursday.

“The away fans have been brilliant this season,” added Ryan.

“A special mention to them because they’ve travelled up and down the country, the lengths of Norwich and back with train strikes and everything else that’s gone on. Different class. 

“We appreciate that and hopefully we can do the same again Saturday. 

“We can pack our end out, whatever they give us, and hopefully we can have a good performance that will get us a result and then we can take that back home for the last game of the season.

“Hopefully it’ll be a full house at Deepdale and hopefully it’ll be exciting Saturday afternoon to see where it takes us.”

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