Not much doubt that this was a pre-planned strike by North End and with the new manager’s reactio,n it sounded like he didn’t need must persuading to come.
Ryan Lowe was a journeyman centre-forward making 626 appearances and scoring 185 goals.
Hailing from Liverpool he played for the Reds’ youth team before finally getting his chance at Shrewsbury at the age of 22.
In fact, Lowe made his final League appearance for Bury at the ripe old age of 40 in 2018 and then went on to become caretaker and eventually full time manager. He got the Shakers promotion before they were so cruelly ousted from the League in 2019 and left Gigg Lane for a two and a half year spell at Plymouth.
In his first season he ensured the Pilgrims’ survival. In his second season he got them promoted from League Two and when he left them to come to Deepdale, Argyle were fourth in League One and looking a very solid bet for a play off place at least at the end of the season.
Ryan Lowe comes to Deepdale after two generally poor years with a deterioration in the general standard of football which saw the departure of Alex Neil and, of course, Frankie McAvoy.
Off the field the engagement with the fans hasn’t been the best and last season North End finished 83rd out of 92 in a fan engagement table.
In the last few months, however, the club seemed to have grasped the nettle and are at least engaging with the Preston Supporters’ Collective (PSC) to improve the matchday experience and the general club/fan relationship.
There is no doubt a winning team playing good football will help this process along and Ryan can help this tremendously.
Already, in his first full press conference, he has spoken about how he wants to go about his work and how he wants the fans to enjoy watching the team and to really get behind them.
No doubt in my mind that PNE must be applauded for making this bold move to bring a manager of his genre to Deepdale and the fans I’ve spoken to and who I have seen posting on social media look 100% behind the new man and what he is trying to achieve at Deepdale.
He likes to play fast-flowing attacking football and is not scared to push men forward in an effort to score more goals than the opposition. It is a style that has brought him success at both clubs he has managed so far, Bury and Plymouth, so let’s just hope he can be successful with that style in the Championship.
The vastly experienced Mike Marsh has come as his No.2, something which I think will pay real dividends in the longer term.
As with all managers, of course, the only real Key Performance Indicator is the league table and that is what Ryan and his staff will be judged on.
If this new model currently on show at Deepdale performs on the field as well as it performs off the field then we can look forward with some optimism to some better times ahead for the North End faithful.
I would say this to the Board of Directors at Deepdal- Give Ryan Lowe the tools and let him get on with the job, don’t interfere in football matters – you run the club and let Ryan run the team.
It would be a lot to ask to be challenging around the play-offs at the end of this season but if he can embed a spirit, style and philosophy that the staff, players and fans all buy into then I am sure there are better ahead for our football club.
This is a very proud club, Ryan, but in my lifetime there is just one piece missing out of the jigsaw. If you deliver that, the Freedom of Preston is yours. Good luck, we are all right behind you.