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First Team News

Ryan Feels PNE Deserved Late Point Against Rovers

22 April 2023

First Team News

Ryan Feels PNE Deserved Late Point Against Rovers

22 April 2023

Ryan Lowe believes his Preston North End side “deserved a point” in their 1-1 draw with Blackburn Rovers in Saturday’s Lancashire derby.

It looked as though PNE were going to suffer defeat at Deepdale after Sammie Szmodics’ 80th-minute strike, but a Liam Delap cross into the area was inadvertently sent beyond goalkeeper Aynsley Pears by Rovers defender Dominic Hyam in the 94th minute.

Ryan said: “I thought we deserved a point and we shaded a lot of the first half. We potentially could have scored one or two goals, but didn’t get our shots away quick enough.

“They made a couple of second-half changes and I thought we adapted well to those. I was disappointed with the way we conceded the goal but the lads showed real character to keep going until the end, to give ourselves a shout like we’ve done many times this season.

“I thought the lads were fantastic. We got back late from Swansea on Wednesday night and then the lads were in on Thursday to recover and we had some time to work with them.

“They’ve gone toe-to-toe in a local derby, in front of a full house. The point probably feels more like three because it’s a last-minute equaliser, but I thought we definitely deserved a point.”

Lowe revealed that the message at half-time was to encourage the players to attack more and be more positive and penetrative in possession.

He said: “The message was, ‘Can we pass forward a little bit more? Can we show that bit more quality going forward and sustain more attacks?’

“We showed a different side to our game today in terms of going longer to pick up second balls.

“Blackburn left players high and wide, hence we changed our shape to counteract that. The message was that the game is here for us to take, if we show that bit of character and resilience, then we’ll get an opportunity to score, and we did.”

When asked about the performances of Liam Delap and defender Patrick Bauer – who made his first appearance since late February - Lowe said the following: “I’m pleased for Liam, to get in the right area and drive into the box. The ricochet helped but if you don’t shoot, you don’t score.

Match Reports

Match Report: PNE 1 Blackburn Rovers 1

22 April 2023

“He has been different class to work with on a daily basis, and although he has found gametime limited, he’s definitely got a bright future and will be an important player for us for the remainder of the season.

“Bambo got suspended for the FA incident and we were gutted about that, but I said to Patrick, ‘Football works in mysterious ways’.

“He’s had to be patient and he’s had a great attitude whilst not playing in terms of supporting the boys. I thought he was fantastic and we’re all really pleased for him because he’s had to wait a long time for it.”

With just two league matches remaining, the Lilywhites sit ninth in the table, two points off the top six and still in the mix for a shot at promotion. 

They travel to Sheffield United on Saturday before hosting Sunderland on the final day of the season at Deepdale.

Ryan said: “We don’t want the season to peter out. We could have been lying in mid-table with nothing to play for at this point, but we’ve got something to play for and we have to keep going and keep believing.

“For us to have an opportunity of making the Play-Offs with two games to go, we’d have bitten your hand off to be in with a shout at the start of the season.

“If we can get a positive result at Sheffield United, then it all boils down to the final game of the season against Sunderland. There’s probably about six teams all vying for that top six spot. Who knows what could happen.”

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