Manager needs to be backed over summer to stop us treading water yet again next season, says PNE fan John Smith

After what has been a rather a dull season with very little excitement, it came as something of a relief that Saturday's trip to Barnsley was the last away one of the current campaign.
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While there had been the odd moment of elation on the road during wins at Bournemouth, Middlesbrough and West Bromwich Albion, I was travel weary and had been ready to don the flip flops and head for the beach weeks ago.

We had not scored in any of our last four away games in a dismal run which had yielded just one measly single point.

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The poor quality displays on show in these games had taken some of the shine off the new manager bounce I had felt since the appointment of Ryan Lowe.

Preston North End's manager Ryan LowePreston North End's manager Ryan Lowe
Preston North End's manager Ryan Lowe

Many of our fans who wore bowler hats in honour of "The Gentry" could easily have replaced the cartoon character "Fred the Flour Grader" on the front of the flour packets with coincidentally a lack of any "Home Pride " in the undignified midweek derby defeat against Blackburn.

However, we managed to restore some pride by eventually cruising to a 3-1 victory after a dominant second half performance.

It was unfortunate that this special day of remembrance in honour of North Enders past was somewhat spoilt by an early kick off following police instructions with roadworks meaning that some fans only arrived at half-time.

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At the end of the game the stewards unnecessarily ringed the pitch which also marred the occasion

Some players did manage to sport bowler hats in the post match celebrations as a mark of respect to what the day meant for the travelling faithful.

At the end of last season I wrote that we were in need of some quality signings if we were to challenge for a top six spot instead of treading water season after season.

Similar to the flour company whose advertising slogan declares that "graded grains make finer flour" we now need Ryan Lowe to become our equivalent to "Fred the Flour Grader" by bringing in some quality players to build a finer team.

However to do this, he will need strong backing from the club as opposed to being expected to work wonders with bargain basement players.