Preston North End: Ryan Lowe provides an injury update as he looks ahead to the Christmas period and the Boxing Day meeting with Huddersfield Town

Preston North End manager Ryan Lowe says a number of players have returned to training this week.
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The Lilywhites welcome Huddersfield Town to Deepdale on Boxing Day, in the first game of a busy Christmas period (K.O. 3pm).

Preston have recently turned to the younger players in the squad due to a number of first team injuries.

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Lowe said: “We’ve got five players back training. Two of them will just do bit-part training, but there are three that will train fully so it will make the squad a little bit thicker, which is a good thing.

Ryan Lowe (Credit: Dave Howarth/CameraSport)Ryan Lowe (Credit: Dave Howarth/CameraSport)
Ryan Lowe (Credit: Dave Howarth/CameraSport)

“We’ve obviously relied on the youngsters and they’ve got some minutes in the last few weeks, but it’s unfair sometimes.

“Hughesy (Andrew Hughes) is one who is back training, but Robbie (Brady) has had a tight calf in the last few weeks.

“He’s also not been well, so we’ve pushed him back a bit but will be back in the next seven to 10 days.”

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Preston are back in action at Deepdale on Boxing Day (Credit: Alex Dodd/CameraSport)Preston are back in action at Deepdale on Boxing Day (Credit: Alex Dodd/CameraSport)
Preston are back in action at Deepdale on Boxing Day (Credit: Alex Dodd/CameraSport)
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Lowe says his side will do all the right things in the next few days, while still enjoying themselves.

“Christmas is Christmas, the festive spirit,” he added.

“I’ve had the music on in my office, I think it’s important that we come in every day with a smile on our face.

“I probably prefer this period as a manager because I can have a glass of wine, but we are professionals and do everything by the book.

“We will enjoy the Christmas spirit but we’ll be working hard to get as many points as we can.

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“I’ll make sure the boys will have time with their families and do the right things.

“I want them all to enjoy it, but they can enjoy it even more when they put points on the board.

“The week and the plan is normal, it doesn’t make a difference that it’s Christmas.

“It’s an important period because once you get into the new year, the league will start tapering out to where people should be.

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“Everyone has an opportunity to have a fantastic season, so if you can collect as many points as you can now then it will give you a little boost.

“We’re under no illusion we’ve got three tough games.

“We know Huddersfield won’t be easy just because they are bottom of the table.

“The message from me is, we won’t take anything for granted.

“It’s not going to be easy.

“Anyone can beat anyone in this league, so we have to do the right things because they are fighting for their lives at the moment.

“We’ve got to do everything we possibly can to get the result.

“You have to pay each team as much respect as we possibly can. If you lose a couple you can drop down, if you win then you sustain it.”

Lowe believes Huddersfield’s change in fortunes demonstrates how well planned you must be in the Championship.

“They threw everything at it last year,” he stated.

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“They only just missed out on promotion last year, but then all of a sudden you lose your manager and everything changes.

“I know they lost a few key players but you need to keep planning and preparing all the way.

“Once the window shuts in September you have to plan for January, then you’ve got to plan for the summer.

“You’ve got to have the plans in place and that’s certainly what we do.

“I don’t know if Huddersfield did that or not but the fact of the matter is, they find themselves in an unprecedented position where they wouldn’t want to be.”