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First Team News

Ryan Reacts To Comfortable Rotherham Victory

29 March 2024

First Team News

Ryan Reacts To Comfortable Rotherham Victory

29 March 2024

Ryan Lowe was a happy man after his Preston North End side dismantled Rotherham United in the first half before a comfortable second.

Duane Holmes, who started on the right wing, opened the scoring in the 22nd minute and Emil Riis then scored a brace to send the Lilywhites into the break with an impressive lead.

North End remained dominant in the second period to claim three points on Good Friday.

Ryan said: “I was happy with the first-half performance. We wanted a fast start and to get out of the blocks. We had to be a little bit patient.

“They sat in and they stopped us really building, but once we found that first goal we always knew we’d get some more opportunities. The second half was a little bit different.

“They came out, changed shape, and went man for man if you like. We still had some good moments and I was pleased with the attitude and application from start to finish because those games can be potential banana skins.

“Everyone’s thinking you’ve got to beat these by two, three, four or five, and that’s not the case. No one’s ever going to lie down and let you tickle their bellies. We had to earn the result.

“The attitude and application was spot on. In the second half we had lots of the ball, moved it from side to side, had a few good moments, but the game was done and to come away with three points, a clean sheet and three goals and to finish the game with three Academy graduates on the bench was really pleasing.”

With the Millers arriving at Deepdale bottom of the table and with a seemingly impossible task to maintain their Championship status, PNE were favourites to come out on top.

The opening of the game – in torrential weather conditions – saw limited opportunities, but North End found their groove once the deadlock was broken.

Ryan said: “With all due respect we knew Rotherham haven’t won on the road for a while, but they’ve picked up some decent results and done well against teams.

“They’ve had an unforgiving season and on the verge of relegation. We knew we could only beat what was in front of us and them games can be hard for different reasons, but we knew once we got one we’d get two or three, and we felt we had some opportunities.

“They put up a fight to try and stop that, which they did. We ended up scoring three goals, but when we got the first goal we knew we could get a few more and we did that. We saw the game out in the second half, it was comfortable, and [we got] three points so happy days.”

With a busy April ahead, the gaffer made all five of his allotted changes, with three of those who came on being Academy graduates.

Kian Best made his first appearance since January, while Josh Seary and Noah Mawene both made home debuts in the Sky Bet Championship.

Ryan added: “It’s not just because we were 3-0 up. Noah and Josh have been on the end of our tongues to start in the past few weeks.

“With Ryan [Ledson] having a bit of a tight calf we were thinking of playing Noah if Ali [McCann] didn’t come through [international duty] so I’m not afraid to pick them and play them.

“They’ve come on the pitch because they’ve warranted it. They haven’t come on the pitch just because it’s 3-0. They’ve come on the pitch because they’ve earned it. All three of them have been fantastic and long may that continue.”

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