Emil Riis enjoyed assisting Preston North End's win against Blackpool and now sets his sights on facing Queens Park Rangers

Emil Riis didn’t get on the scoresheet in Preston North End’s win against Blackpool but he did the next best thing in setting up the winner.

By Dave Seddon
Thursday, 7th April 2022, 1:40 pm

It was the Dane’s run and pass which played in Cameron Archer to put the ball in the Blackpool net in first-half stoppage-time on Tuesday night.

Claiming the assist pleased Riis who thoroughly enjoyed the red-hot atmosphere inside Deepdale, a venue North End return to on Saturday to host Queens Park Rangers.

High on the agenda will be making sure QPR’s visit is not a case of after the Lord Mayor’s show.

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Preston North End striker Emil Riis has a shot against Blackpool

The move for the goal against Blackpool started life a couple of yards outside the PNE box, Brad Potts’ pass finding Riis inside his own half.

Taking up the tale, Riis told the Lancashire Post: “My aim was to try and take the ball as high up the pitch as I could.

"I saw Cam was free on the other side so I played it out to him.

"On my run, I’d had to get in front of one of their defenders who I felt was cutting off the pitch to me.

Cameron Archer is congratulated by Preston North End team-mate Emil Riis after scoring against Blackpool

"It was a great finish from Cam, between the legs of the defender and almost at the post. He’s a good footballer.

"There was a lot of noise when we scored, Cam celebrating in front of the Blackpool fans was also a bit crazy!”

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Late in the game, there was a chance of a role reversal as Archer surged up the pitch on the counter-attack with Riis supporting him on one side and Daniel Johnson on the other.

Preston North End's Emil Riis challenges Derby defender Lee Buchanan

Archer chose to shoot and his effort went wide, Riis far better placed for a pass to the right of him.

"I had a word with him after the game about it,” said Riis.

"He’s a young player high in confidence and I’ve been there myself, wanting to shoot and score goals.

"You have to recognise the game, see what point it’s at. If Blackpool had managed to score after that, it would have been bad.”

The remainder of the season has very much a Deepdale leaning for North End, with four of their remaining six matches on home turf.

Saturday’s clash with QPR is followed by a Good Friday meeting with Millwall.

Riis and his team-mates head to London the Tuesday after Easter to take on Fulham, before returning home to face Blackburn on Monday, April 25.

It’s Gentry Day at Barnsley on April 30 before the curtain comes down on the season when Middlesbrough come to town on May 7.

Building some consistency over those remaining games is something Riis wants to do, both as a team and personally.

Only three times this season have North End won back-to-back league games. On the scoring front, Riis is focused on hitting the 20-goal mark.

Riis said: “Consistency is one of the reasons we are where we are in the league.

"We’ve often played a couple of good games and then been off it for a game or two.

"The teams who are higher up the table and challenging for promotion know how to win three or four games on the bounce.

"You’ve got to find ways to win games. That was something the manager put on the board before the Blackpool game, to find a way. You have the game plan but sometimes it is just finding the way.

"We played well against Blackpool and found a way.

"We’ve won our last two home games, although the Bournemouth win seems a long time ago now. There are four games at Deepdale left and it is a chance to pick up points and do well.

"Over these last few games, reaching 20 goals remains my target. If I could 20 that would be great and then I’d set myself another one.”

Riis acknowledges that the raucous atmosphere of Tuesday night would be hard to repeat in other matches due to the nature of the PNE-Blackpool derby.

But he hopes some of those fans who were at the Blackpool game and might not be regulars, could be tempted back on occasions.

"The crowd was unbelievable against Blackpool, I’d never experienced that here before,” said Riis.

"Hopefully some of them will come back on Saturday and for the other games after seeing us play really well.

"Having all those fans there gave us that extra drive and it was great to see such a big crowd.

"The challenge now is for us to repeat the good parts of the performance, to keep building and improving as a side.

"At times the game wasn’t the prettiest but we did some thing well and got the three points.

"There are lots of things to work on and we’ll do that.”

QPR arrive in Lancashire this weekend in ninth place, five points shy of the play-offs.

Their form has dipped of late after looking at one stage to be top-six certs but Riis thinks they will be tough opponents – as they were in West London in October when North End were beaten 3-2.

The 23-year-old, who scored in the reverse fixture, said: “QPR are still around the play-offs and have a lot to play for. I expect them to come here to try and win the game rather than sit back.

"We had a tough game against them at their place and this one will be tough again.”