Four talking points as Preston North End are outfought by Derby County

Preston North End fell to a late defeat to Derby County on Saturday, Ravel Morrison scoring the only goal of the game with less than 10 minutes left to play.

By Tom Sandells
Sunday, 3rd April 2022, 12:30 pm

It does not tell the full story of the game, which also saw a red card for each side as Liam Lindsay brought Tom Lawrence down as he advanced on goal and Max Bird was too reckless in a challenge with Ben Whiteman.

The former was sent off after half an hour, the latter 10 minutes into the second half.

Here are four talking points from the game.

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Preston North End players look dejected after their side concede at Derby County.

1. 4-3-3.

For the first time under Ryan Lowe, PNE began the game in a 4-3-3 system. He has said for some time that his preferred formation is 3-5-2 but changed things up at Pride Park, partly in an attempt to throw the Rams off.

They did start the game the better side but it all went out of the window when they were reduced to 10 men.

It is the first time we've seen Lowe switch things up and post match he said he wanted to have two formations to call up - it could also be a sign of experimentation to come between now and the end of the season.

2. Liam Lindsay.

Red cards happen in football, it's also the nature of the beast as a defender, but two red cards in three games is a huge disappointment.

His sending off on Saturday, as well as the way Derby had started to get on top in the game pretty much took getting the three points out of the question.

It was a pivotal moment in the game that was actually softened by ill-discipline by the Rams that saw Bird go flying in on Whiteman earning him an early bath.

At the moment, players must prove that they should be included in Ryan Lowe’s future plans and although, until his last three games, Lindsay has been dependable when called upon, decisions will be made.

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Player ratings: Derby County 1-0 Preston North End

3. Wanted it more.

It is never a nice thing to say coming away from a football match, but Derby wanted the three points more than Preston did.

The Rams are in serious trouble on and off the pitch and are starting down relegation but there is still a faint hope of survival. Their season is not over and that showed on Saturday.

North End on the other hand are not troubling either end of the division. Towards the end of the game the level of fight from the Derby players could not be matched by PNE and in the end, that saw them to the victory.

Too many times we have seen campaigns peeter out since the return to the Championship in 2015.

4. Blackpool.

A game that needs no introduction and is just around the corner. The build up will be short but the importance of the game could not be greater.

They must win, they cannot be beaten again and the season hinges on this one game.

There will be no promotion or relegation, they have already lost to both Blackpool and Blackburn and PNE must start setting the record straight.

They have to win against their seaside rivals – and then finish above them too.

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