Boss Ryan Lowe looking for more craft to Preston North End’s forward play

Ryan Lowe says Preston North End have work to do in terms of playing the attacking style he wants but he can see that they are heading in the right direction.

By Dave Seddon
Monday, 17th January 2022, 8:00 am

PNE were denied a third Championship victory under Lowe’s stewardship by a late Birmingham City equaliser at Deepdale on Saturday.

They had to settle for a 1-1 draw, Patrick Bauer having given them a first-half lead.

Lowe’s men missed some chances at 1-0 to extend the lead and didn’t make the most of some promising positions.

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Preston North End manager Ryan Lowe applauds the fans at full-time against Birmingham City

It is that aspect of their play which he and his coaching team are working hard on.

Lowe told the Lancashire Post: “I think you can see the patterns of play we are trying to do but there were some safe passes and I don’t want those at the top end of the pitch.

“I want risk passes there, I want to see us sliding the ball down the sides a bit more like Alan Browne did for Greg Cunningham late on.

“At times I want us to stop going through the middle because that is where the opposition bodies are.

“We want to go round the outside, we play wing-backs for a reason.

“There are loads of little parts in there and through the week in training we are getting those patterns but that is against ourselves.

“When we come up against teams we have to be smart, a bit more clever.

“If we break one line, don’t come back – we have to break the next line.

“When we go forward we have to penetrate more.

“I’d say we are 60% there and it is up to myself and the coaching staff to make sure we get better every day.”

Lowe points to North End’s statistics as backing up his words about things moving in the right direction, even if they are not quite there yet. Said Lowe: “We had a look at some stats on Friday before playing Birmingham.

“We have jumped up in the league in all statistics – the possession, chances created, forward passes, the runs we are making going forward.

“We’ve jumped from the bottom to mid-table, even a little bit more than that.

“Against Birmingham we had 15 penalty box entries, a lot of shots either on target or blocked.

“It is that little clinical edge, that fine quality we need, if we get that we will score more goals.”