‘Keep it simple’ orders Preston North End boss Ryan Lowe

Ryan Lowe has told the Preston North End squad that it will be simple and effective football which will catch his eye and get them moving up the Championship table.

By Dave Seddon
Thursday, 13th January 2022, 8:00 am

Lowe oversaw league wins in his first two games as PNE manager but they bowed out of the FA Cup to Cardiff City last Sunday.

In that 2-1 defeat, Lowe felt there were times when North End’s play was a bit too risky in certain areas or they complicated things.

He picked out an example of someone playing a 30 or 40-yard pass when a shorter ball would have more effective.

Daniel Johnson pulls up with cramp during Preston North End’s game at Cardiff

Lowe thinks it was just a case of some players trying that little bit too hard at Cardiff to catch his eye.

It is something he will look to rectify in the training ahead of Saturday’s home game with Birmingham City.

Lowe told the Lancashire Post: “I have a group of players who want to impress.

“Some of them will try to impress with a 30 or 40-yard diagonal pass. I just say to them a 10 or 15-yard pass is just as good, if not better.

“In transitions, you are sometimes better taking that extra pass and working the ball down the sides.

“If you give it away too quickly, the opposition are coming straight back at you and that becomes hard work.

“I want the group to keep level-headed and grounded as they try and impress, play the way we want them to.

“Some of the passing at Cardiff was a bit too risky for my liking.

“There are risk areas on a pitch but in other areas you need to be more careful.

“They are good footballers first and foremost here, you don’t play in the Championship without being a good footballer.

“In the main they are getting what we are asking of them, I can see that in training every day. Maybe at Cardiff they were a little bit more desperate to get a goal or make that killer pass rather than working the ball up the pitch.

“It will come and we just need to keep working on it.”

Lowe’s focus is now on the Birmingham game which kicks off a busy spell for PNE.

The next three midweek slots have been filled by the games which were postponed over Christmas.

The North End manager will be hoping the walking wounded from Sunday will have recovered in time to resume training today.

Daniel Johnson had to be subbed just before the end of the first period of extra time because of cramp.

Likewise, Patrick Bauer was clearly not moving well in the closing stages as cramp took a hold of his legs.

Said Lowe: “The first part of the week was about recovery so that we can have them training on Thursday and Friday.”