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First Team News

Ryan Reacts To Final Day Defeat To West Brom

4 May 2024

First Team News

Ryan Reacts To Final Day Defeat To West Brom

4 May 2024

Reflecting on the campaign after the final day defeat to West Brom, manager Ryan Lowe said there’s a “soft underbelly” and “silly mistakes” which need eradicating ahead of next season.

Preston North End were beaten 3-0 at The Hawthorns, which meant the Lilywhites ended the campaign with five successive defeats.

It looked as though the sides were set to go into the break level, until the hosts scored a stoppage-time penalty, and two more goals in the second half saw the Baggies come out on top.

Ryan said: “First and foremost I thought the lads were okay in the first half and grew into the game. They’re obviously going to have some chances. We didn’t keep the ball enough, but we had some moments.

“To be done by the penalty [is frustrating], and I’ve looked back and it’s not a penalty. At half-time the lads are disappointed and I asked them to not let their heads drop.

“To concede the two goals we conceded are sloppy and that’s disappointing because we’ve been solid and resolute for most of the season. I said that to them in there that there’s a bit of a soft underbelly somewhere, since the Norwich game.

“Even the Norwich game until we lost late on they’ve been unbelievable the group of players all season. Once we got beat off Norwich it seems to me that it’s just like, ‘Well, we can’t do anything now, we’re going to finish mid-table.’

“That’s not how I wanted it to finish. I’ve said to them they need to have a look at themselves and dust themselves down. They need to put it right for next season because that’s my job, to make sure that we put it right. We didn’t want it to end the way it has, losing five games on the bounce.”

Results elsewhere meant North End finished the season where they started the day in tenth, but ten points outside the Play-Offs, which at times this campaign has looked a real possibility.

Now the manager is already looking ahead to next season and he’ll be holding meetings with each of the players on Monday to discuss their futures.

Ryan said: “We’ve had a good season because we’ve finished tenth with 63 points. We wanted to achieve more than we did last season, that’s not been the case, but we’ve had opportunities to do that.

“It’s the last five games that’s hit us hard and it’s hit me hard. I’m sick of apologising to people saying this, that, or the other, because I do care. I apologise all the time because it hasn’t been good enough the last five games.

“That’s my job now. My responsibility to make sure I get it right for this football club next season. My bosses at the top and the fans, it’s their club.

“We’re here to try and make things happen and to take it forward and that’s going to be the key this season. We’ll recruit players, make sure the squad’s thicker, better, and not have a soft underbelly like we have the last five games.”

Following full-time at The Hawthorns, the full team and management staff went over to the away end to not only thank them for their support in the Midlands but throughout the whole campaign.

Ryan said: “One or two will voice their opinions and that’s fine. I can only apologise for the performance on behalf of me and the players.

“We’ve just got to make sure we’re better for them because they’ve been unbelievable. Through the tough times they’ve been excellent, sending loads of emails, loads of messages, and people you see on the streets have been excellent.

“They just want good for Preston North End and that’s what I’m here to do, and hopefully I can do it next season.”

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