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First Team News

Gaffer On Potentially Season-Defining Fixtures

22 February 2024

First Team News

Gaffer On Potentially Season-Defining Fixtures

22 February 2024

Ryan Lowe feels the next block of fixtures, starting with Friday night’s trip to Coventry City, could prove to be season defining.

North End currently sit five points outside of the Play-Offs, but with games against seventh, sixth and fourth to come in the next fortnight, the table could soon look very different.

Ryan said: “It definitely is an important run of fixtures, and it could be season defining.

“We asked the lads to come up with a benchmark, a points tally for the next five games, and that’ll see us through until the international break.

“That will then give us a rough guide of where we’re going to be. I’ve said it numerous times, but if we can get down to eight to ten games remaining knowing that we’ve still got an opportunity of getting to where we want to be, then we’ll have a good go at it.

“We’ve just got to take each game as it comes and see where it takes us.”

Firstly, it’s a trip to Coventry City on Friday night for North End as the gaffer takes his side to the West Midlands in search of a double over the Sky Blues.

PNE came out 3-2 winners back in November, however since that point Mark Robins’ team have really hit form having lost just twice in their previous 21 matches.

The Lilywhites are feeling good themselves, though, with the last five fixtures generating 11 points.

“The lads are feeling positive and bubbly,” Ryan said. “We’re playing good football and are in good form, coming up against a good Coventry side, who I think have been excellent since they changed shape.

“I thought they were excellent when we played them at our place in all fairness. We obviously got the result on the day, but they’re well-drilled and well-coached, so it’s going to be a tough encounter but it’s one that we’re looking forward to definitely.”

There won’t be many teams out there which PNE have a better record against, having not lost to the Sky Blues in the previous 20 league meetings.

That’s not something the manager is thinking about, though, as they go to the Coventry Building Society Arena to face a side sitting just outside the top six.

Ryan said: “It’s great when you go places and you know you’ve been there and done well, but as you well know in the Championship, especially now with 13 games to go, the results are going to be up and down like the season has been for probably most teams.

“Even the top teams have had bumps in the road. We’ll look to do what we’ve been doing recently, to play good football, keep the back door and win games. That’s going to be our focus.”

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