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First Team News

Gaffer Wants To Finish ‘Fantastic’ Home Campaign On A High

25 April 2024

First Team News

Gaffer Wants To Finish ‘Fantastic’ Home Campaign On A High

25 April 2024

Ryan Lowe wants his side to finish what he feels has been a “fantastic” home campaign on a high, when Leicester City come to Deepdale on Monday evening.

North End will host the title-pushing Foxes for an 8pm kick-off in front of the Sky Sports cameras, looking to stop a promotion party, with Enzo Maresca’s side able to seal their return to the top flight in PR1.

While aware of the obvious threat they’ll pose, the PNE manager is keen for his side to add to the 37 points picked up on home turf already this season.

Talking about the preparations for the game, Ryan said: “We’ve been in for three days now on the bounce building up to this game. The noise is about them because they’ve done fantastically well, and rightly so.

“They’ve come down from the Premier League and they’ve got some fantastic players. They’re well coached, but we’ve got our own agenda and pride and passion to play for more points.

“We’re at home, we’ve had a fantastic campaign this season at home, and we want that to continue.

“We are coming up against a tough team which we know, but these are the games you play football for, against a team who are looking to get out of the division, and I’m hoping our lads will be champing at the bit for it.

“We’ve had a few good days of training. We’ll continue that over the next few days, and the lads are really looking forward to it.”

Results elsewhere ahead of Monday’s fixture under the lights may already confirm Leicester’s promotion, but they know that no matter what, three points will be enough.

Facing PNE, though, they’ll be coming up against a team with a good home record against the division’s automatic promotion challengers, having beaten Leeds United and Ipswich Town, and drawn with Southampton.

Ryan said: “We’ve always tried to make Deepdale a fortress. It takes a while because people have got to buy into what we’re doing. Slowly but surely they’ve done that.

“The fans have been excellent, especially since the Bristol City game onwards. They’ve really got behind the lads and galvanised the group, and when they do that it really does galvanise the group.

“They feel the love and the vibe off them with the singing and the shouting. I can feel it myself on the side. They play a big part in that and we want that to continue.”

Earlier in the campaign, it seemed an inevitability that Leicester City would be heading straight back into the Premier League, but a mixed run of form earlier this year allowed the chasing pack to close the gap.

They’ve proven their quality in the end, though, and are now very nearly there.

Ryan said: “It shows the strength of the Championship. You’d have thought with 94 points they’d be promoted by now.

“When we were looking at the fixtures early on and they were 18 points clear, I was hoping they were already promoted with two games to go,” he laughed, “but that’s the league.

“They’ve found themselves on the back of some defeats and some draws, but credit where credit’s do. They’re potentially going to go on and get promoted. We want to put a dent in that in terms of our own stuff.

“They’re coming to our place and we want to make sure we equip ourselves right and perform to the levels that we can. I think one manager said before they’re actually on loan to the Championship because of the financial packages and the parachute payments that come with it and the quality you’re coming up against.

“These are the games me, my staff and players should be really rallying for because these are the games you want to play in.”

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