Passing stats and clean sheets will encourage Preston North End boss Ryan Lowe

A big part of Ryan Lowe’s approach to games involves playing out from the back and building play up the field.

By Dave Seddon
Friday, 11th February 2022, 12:30 pm

It is something which the Preston North End defence have taken on board over the nine weeks of Lowe’s tenure and the statistics were there from the Huddersfield game in midweek to back that up.

The three central defenders had some decent passing accuracy stats on Wednesday night at Deepdale.

You could argue they didn’t come under the same amount of pressure when on the ball as their midfield colleagues would have done.

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Preston North End’s Brad Potts – who had a passing accuracy of 82.7% from 52 passes – crosses under pressure from Huddersfield Town’s Duane Holmes on Wednesday nigh

However, the statistics are a sign that Lowe has got his message across to the players at the back.

Patrick Bauer was the most accurate passer in the North End team against the Terriers, with an 88.2% pass accuracy – the German made 51 passes on the night.

Andrew Hughes had a passing accuracy rate of 85.5%, making 62 passes.

Sepp van den Berg made the highest number of passes in the PNE team in the 0-0 draw, recording an accuracy of 81.1%.

Left wing-back Josh Earl, a first-half substitute for the injured Greg Cunningham, had an 86.7% accuracy from the 30 passes he made in his 55 minutes or so on the pitch.

On the other side of the pitch, Brad Potts returned a passing accuracy of 82.7% from 52 passes.

Ben Whiteman from his deeper midfield role, made 76 passes in the game, his passing accuracy 86.8%.

Further forward, Alan Browne’s accuracy rate was 82.4%, while Daniel Johnson’s was 79.6%.

However, Johnson made five key passes in the game, the highest on both sides.

The attacking statistics from the Huddersfield clash showed that Cameron Archer had five shots.

Ched Evans and Whiteman both had three attempts.

The main stat of the night was obviously the scoreline, a fourth 0-0 draw for North End this season and the second in a week after the stalemate at Millwall.

They also drew 0-0 with Derby in October and at Bristol City the previous month.

It’s three clean sheets on the run for North End and four in the last five matches.

If they could keep the back door shut against Peterborough, it would match the four clean sheets in a row they kept towards the end of last season.

In April and early May they stopped Stoke, Derby, Coventry and Barnsley from scoring – that run coming after a 5-0 beating by Brentford.

Giving his thoughts on the recent tightening-up at the back, Lowe said: “It starts from the front with the distances, how deep they are.

“All the time you can hear us shouting from the side to squeeze and get up.

“We don’t want to leave any gaps, we want to be solid and resolute, make sure the other team can’t drop into areas where they will break through us.

“I thought our defence was fantastic in midweek, they nullified the strengths of Duane Holmes, Danny Ward and Sorba Thomas, they are top players who have been outstanding for Huddersfield.

“We have to make sure we continue to do that. When we are doing that, we look a solid team and we’ve been excellent in defence.

“But it always starts from the front, I know that as a former striker you work your socks off.

“If you do that and are solid in your units, you will be fine.”