'Nearly 100 times' - Preston North End manager's concern at a statistic in the defeat to Luton Town

Ryan Lowe has highlighted a statistic which particularly alarmed him during Preston North End’s defeat to Luton Town.

By Dave Seddon
Friday, 18th March 2022, 8:00 am

The amount of times PNE gave the ball away in the 4-0 reverse at Kenilworth Road on Wednesday night was close to the 100 mark.

In meant the Hatters were able to get on to the front foot and put Lowe’s side under pressure, that pressure leading to the Lilywhites conceding four avoidable goals from their point of view.

North End manager Lowe said: “Our analyst told me that we lost the ball 98 times which is very unusual for us.

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Preston North End goalkeeper Daniel Iversen is beaten by Luke Berry's goal at the near post in the defeat against Luton Town

"Those turnovers meant we were going backwards, giving the ball away so many times was painful.

"Every time we got on the front foot we seemed to give it away. We knew Luton were going to press us and that we needed to play in their half.

"Clearly we didn’t do that well enough and we conceded four bad goals.”

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Lowe will have more than a fortnight to mull over the defeat, with PNE not back in action until April 2 at Derby County.

That is closely followed by the derby clash with Blackpool at Deepdale three days later.

The squad have been given some time off, that agreed before the Luton game, with Lowe sticking to the schedule despite the defeat.

When the players return at the end of next week, Lowe wants their minds focused on playing Derby and not the Luton defeat.

Reflecting on the goals given away in midweek, Lowe said: “We gave them everything. On their behalf, Luton will think they were good goals.

"For the first the ball came in, they didn’t allow anyone a free header, the ball dropped and bang, it’s a goal.

"A defender scored the second with no one picking him up.

"The third one came off a heal, the kid will probably say he meant it and it went in at the near post.

“The own goal for the fourth, Daniel Iversen punches the ball, it hits Bambo and goes in. That summed the game up for us.

"We weren’t good and Luton were on it, trying to get three points to get into the play-offs.

"We were nowhere near the levels needed to get something from the game.”