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First Team News

Gaffer Discusses Cardiff City, Team Spirit and Player Availability

9 March 2023

Manager Ryan Lowe says his players have been in “fantastic spirits” this week, in the build-up to the weekend’s game at Deepdale.

The Lilywhites will host Cardiff City on Saturday, with a 3pm kick-off, to mark their only home fixture of March in the Championship – the next two being away outings to Rotherham United and Gentry Day at Middlesbrough.

In the last match on home turf, PNE were held by visitors Coventry City to a goalless draw, prior to repeating the feat at Vicarage Road against Watford last Saturday.

On the clash with Cardiff, Ryan said: “There’s no better place to do it than at home.

“I think we’ve been fantastic the last couple of games and if we can put a performance on and a show on at home for our fans it’ll be pleasing.

“You go two or three games unbeaten and the confidence rockets right through.

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“I think the confidence came from the Luton game when we had a man sent off and we got a point, and then the second half performance definitely against Wigan.”

With the team in good form, changes have been limited and a number of senior players used Tuesday’s Central League game against Blackpool as an opportunity to build match fitness and impress the manager.

North End came out 3-0 winners, with two goals coming from Josh Onomah, who will undoubtedly be pushing for first team contention going forward.

Ryan said: “Every single one of them applied themselves fantastically well, the attitude was spot on, and that’s what you need.

“I said, ‘Look I can not play you in it but then you won’t be up to speed,’ and they all wanted to play which was pleasing.

“His (Onomah’s) quality is unquestionable, we don’t need to question that.

“The fitness side of things, yeah we want to get him better, and he’s slowly but surely getting there.”

Ryan will be without Ali McCann and Emil Riis – who remain sidelined with long-term injuries – but defender Andrew Hughes looks to be catching up to full fitness, having missed the previous three fixtures.

He will be assessed in training ahead of the weekend but, apart from those absences, there will be a fully-fit squad to choose from, as all are “raring to go”.

You can watch the full interview with the manager on iFollow PNE.

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